Ford chooses Troy University

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By Ron Benningfield

Kelton Ford, former multi-sport standout at LaRue County High School, has signed on as a member of Troy University’s Trojan basketball team in the Sunbelt Conference.

“I am extremely happy for Kelton,” said his high school coach Paul Childress.  “He has worked so hard to achieve his dream of playing Division One basketball.  He is at a great institution with Troy University and has a quality coach in Phil Cunningham.”

Cunningham, who hails from Paducah, was named head coach at Troy in March. The coach, who played at Campbellsville High School and Campbellsville University, served as assistant coach at Mississippi State for several years and also at Western Kentucky University before accepting the position at Troy.

In a phone interview from the Alabama School, Ford, who arrived on campus Aug. 18, said he has been working out on his own in the school’s gym while completing all required medical checks.    

“The team has been working out every day and I’ve been playing some pick-up ball with them after their practices, but I’m looking forward, now that I’m cleared, to practicing with them,” he said.

Childress said Ford was initially set to attend South Plains Junior College in Texas, but in a whirlwind recruitment, Cunningham offered him a full scholarship to play at Troy.  

“Kelton was familiar with Coach Cunningham and decided that playing in the Sunbelt Conference at Troy would be a tremendous opportunity for him,” said Childress.

Ford said he saw Troy as the “perfect situation.”

“It was the best opportunity for me,” he said. “We’ll be playing some big schools which will be a nice experience, and if I work hard, I believe everything will pan out.”

Anticipating the rigorous college workouts, he has trimmed 10 pounds from his 6-foot frame and is now at 180 pounds.

“I’ve heard how hard these drills can be, so I want to get in the best shape I can,” he said.

He takes with him some enviable high school statistics, including being the school’s career leader in steals, and second all-time leading scorer (1,702 points).  

His senior year, he averaged 22.8 points per game, 5.8 rebounds, five assists, and 4.8 steals. A few of his other honors include being named to the Courier-Journal’s All-State Second Team in 2013, Fifth Region Coaches’ Association’s Player of the Year in 2013, and three-time member of the Fifth Region and 18th District All-Seasonal and All-Tournament teams.

His high school coach foresees a bright future for Ford.

“Playing with other D1 players, especially post players, should maximize his point guard skills,” said Childress. “I think the sky is the limit for Kelton.  He will be a great guard in the Sunbelt Conference before he graduates.”