On Saturday, October 14, 2017, Alice Lloyd College welcomed three individuals into its Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place on the college campus at the Grady Nutt Athletic Center as part of the annual Appalachia Day Homecoming activities. This year’s inductees were: Gemma Gray-Parks, Tommy McKenzie, and Bobby Dustin Ratliff.
Gemma Gray-Parks hails from Manchester, Kentucky, and is a graduate of Clay County High School where she twice led her Tigers to the state basketball tournament. She attended Alice Lloyd from 2009-2012 where she majored in elementary education and was a four year member and major contributor to the Lady Eagles. She was known for her excellent leadership ability and steady, all-around game. This guard demanded the most from her teammates, and led by example.
After serving as the clubs sixth man her freshman year and helping lead the team to the conference tournament finals, she would become a three year starter. As a sophomore, she led the squad averaging 13.9 points and 5 rebounds per game. During her junior season, she was once more a team leader as she averaged nearly 12 points and 5 rebounds per contest. Her dependable play continued her senior season as she averaged over 13 points and 4 rebounds per outing while shooting over 87% from the charity stripe.
At the conclusion of her tenure, she had scored 1,078 points, grabbed 385 rebounds, and handed out 145 assists. She was also a career 40% shooter from three-point territory, and an outstanding 79.6% career free throw shooter. Additionally, she was also an All-Conference selection. Off the court, she was on the Dean’s List or President’s List every semester of attendance, and was also nominated for the NAIA’s prestigious Walker Award for outstanding character. She is considered one of the finest all-around players to ever wear the Lady Eagles uniform.
Currently, she resides in Manchester, Kentucky, and is employed by the Clay County Board of Education, where she has served her community as a primary school instructor at Hacker Elementary for the past 5 years. She also is the head middle school basketball coach at Clay County.
Tommy McKenzie is a graduate of Johnson Central High School where he led the Golden Eagles to the state basketball tournament and the elite eight as a senior. He was selected regional player of the year for his efforts. He attended Alice Lloyd from 1999-2003 where he majored in High School Education. He was a three year member of the Eagles basketball team and was known for his cool demeanor and steady play at point guard.
During his career, he was the starting point guard each year and was one of the team’s most consistent performers. As a freshman, he was named to the Appalachian Athletic Conference All Freshman Team, and led the club in assists. As a sophomore, he led the league in assists and in free throw percentage. He repeated this feat as a junior, once more topping the conference in assists and free throw percentage. He was twice named team captain and was selected team MVP as a junior. His career numbers were set to rise even higher but, unfortunately, just before his senior season began, he suffered a career ending knee injury. He led the squad in assists each season he played, making him just one of a handful of players to achieve that feat. In addition to his athletic achievements, he was also an outstanding student who excelled in the classroom.
After graduation, he would return to his high school alma mater to teach, and he would eventually become the head boys’ basketball coach at Johnson Central. During his 10 years in that position, he has maintained a string of excellence and consistency. He has currently led the Golden Eagles to four 15th Regional Championships with one Elite Eight appearance in the State Tournament, and seven 15th Regional title game appearances. Additionally, he has claimed four 57th District Championships and has had seven consecutive 20 win seasons. For his success, he has twice been named by the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches as the 15th Region Coach of the Year and was named the 2015 WYMT Regional Coach of the year. He is already his high school’s all-time leader in wins, regional titles, 20 win seasons, post season wins, and state tournament wins, and as a member of the Alice Lloyd Eagles, he is considered one of the college’s finest all-around point guards.
He currently resides in Paintsville, Kentucky, and is employed by the Johnson County Board of Education where he has served his community as an instructor and coach at Johnson Central High School for the past 14 years.
Bobby Dustin Ratliff hails from Hindman, Kentucky, and is a graduate of Knott County Central. He attended Alice Lloyd from 1998-2003 where he majored in education. He was a four year member of the Eagles baseball team, and was known for his outstanding catching skills and leadership.
During his career, he was a rare four year starter at perhaps the most difficult position to master on the baseball diamond. He was blessed with exceptional reflexes and ability behind the plate, and he had an outstanding arm. During his playing days, opposing players quickly learned that if you attempted to steal a base in a contest he was catching, that they would typically be thrown out. Therefore, only a handful tried and nearly all would fail. He was also an exceptional play caller and had an incredible ability to work well with his pitchers, and help them perform at their best from the mound. Furthermore, he was considered a gifted athlete who was also the quickest player on the squad.
Over his career, he was voted Honorable Mention All-Conference three different times, won several Gold Glove Awards, was the recipient of the squads 110% award, and was selected as team MVP. Off the field, he was on the Dean’s List or President’s List every semester of attendance and was named Academic All-American. Furthermore, he earned the college’s prestigious Work Study Award. He is considered as the top defensive catcher to ever wear the Eagle pinstripes.
Currently, he resides in Hazard, Kentucky, and is employed by the Perry County Board of Education, where he serves his community as an instructor at Viper Elementary and has been involved in education for the past 20 years. He is also in the process of earning his principalship.