TriCounty Community Guide 50 Greatest Sports Figures in the Tri-County - Page 9

Jerry Bird Bird Bird was a standout football player for Corbin High School, but he excelled on the hardwood for the Redhounds. He led Corbin to a 90-15 record and three state tournament appearances during his playing career and in 1952 was selected to the State Tourna- ment’s All-Tournament team. He also garnered the Most Valuable Player awards in fi ve all-star games while being named to numerous All-America teams during his high school career. He was also inducted into the Dawahares/KHSAA High School Sports Hall of Fame Inductee in 1993. After high school, Bird played for the University of Kentucky and coach Adolph Rupp. He was a member of the Wildcat basketball team from 1954-56 and helped lead Kentucky to two Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles and was a member of the 1954 team that put together a perfect 25-0 record and was named national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation. He fi nished his career at Kentucky scoring 713 points and fi nishing with 589 rebounds. On March 17, 1956, against Iowa, Bird fi nished with 24 rebounds, which remains an NCAA Tournament record. Bird was drafted in 1956 by the Minneapolis Lakers and he played one season with the New York Knicks in 1959. He is a member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame and his jersey is retired and hanging in Rupp Arena. Rodger Bird Bird Bird had one of the best high school, college and professional sports careers than anyone in the Tri-County. He was a varsity letter winner during all four years at Corbin High School in football, basketball and track. He was a regional track winner during each of those four years and was an All-District performer in basketball. He dominated on the football fi eld, leading Corbin to a 35-7 record during his varsity career. He scored 212 points during the 1960 season while garnering an All-State selection in 1960-61 and an All-American selection in 1961. He was also inducted into the Dawahares/KHSAA High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. Bird excelled at the college level playing football for the University of Kentucky. With the Wildcats, Bird was a fi rst team All-American as a running back. He was named as an “SEC Legend” in 2011. After his playing days at UK, Bird was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. After being switched to defensive back, Bird was named AFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1966. While playing for Oakland, Bird participated in Super Bowl II against the Green Bay Packers. Bird is a member of numerous Hall of Fames, including the UK Athletics Hall of Fame. 50 GREATEST SPORTS FIGURES | 9