Connie Goins has never been one to boast about her accomplishments, and that includes being part of the 2020 class of inductees into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
“You’re old when you’re going to be in a museum,” Goins said with a laugh during a phone interview Thursday. “I know this is a good thing, but I’m going to be in a museum.”
The Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame is located in Elizabethtown, and the induction ceremony is scheduled for July 11.
Goins, a 1982 graduate of Western Hills High School, was Kentucky’s Miss Basketball in 1982. She finished her high school career scoring 2,928 points. She was named to the all-state team in 1981 and 1982, and she was on the state all-tournament teams in 1980 and 1981.
“Sometimes I feel like my high school career has a life of its own,” Goins said. “It pops up every now and then, and I think, ‘good for her.’”
Her basketball career began at Bald Knob Elementary School.
“Mr. (Homer) Calvert was my PE teacher at Bald Knob when I was in the fifth grade,” she said. “The Elks were having a free throw shooting contest, and Mr. Calvert told me if I was going to be in the contest he would have to work on my shot. My elbow stuck out like a chicken wing.”
So Goins worked on her shot under Calvert’s guidance, and she won the Elks’ free throw shooting contest at the state level as a sixth grader.
She played one game at Bald Knob, when she was asked by Calvert to play with the boys team in a tournament.
“I said OK,” Goins said. “In Bald Knob when kids showed up to play it was mostly boys. That didn’t bother me. I was more nervous about playing in a real game.”
She learned a valuable lesson in the game when she rebounded a missed free throw.
“It came off the rim real fast, and I just shot it,” Goins said. “It wasn’t my goal. I missed the shot, but the lesson was you have to know which goal is yours. I remember telling myself that was never going to happen again, and it never did.”
She played seventh and eighth grade basketball at Bondurant Junior High under Wanda Wiley and assistant coach Beth Hunt.
As a freshman, Goins played at Franklin County, and when she was a sophomore at FCHS, the Lady Flyers won the 11th Region title for the first time in the school’s history. Franklin County advanced to the championship game, where it lost to Butler.
“We were kind of a Cinderella story,” Goins said. “It’s great to be a Cinderella story, but you never think it’s going to be you.”
Franklin County split after Goins’ sophomore year, and Goins went to Western Hills her last two years of high school. Nancy Finney was her coach at FCHS, and Harold Miller was Finney’s assistant. When the schools split, Miller became the head girls basketball coach at WHHS.
“They split the district down the middle, and we didn’t get to pick where we wanted to go,” she said. “It split the team down the middle, and both teams were ranked.
“At that time they didn’t seed the district. They drew for the tournament, and we drew each other both years.”
WHHS beat FCHS in the district tournament in both of Goins’ last two seasons. Western Hills went to the state tournament when she was a junior and reached the regional final her senior season.
“That was the best part of my junior year, that we put Western Hills, a new school, on the map,” she said.
Goins played in a regional final all four years of her high school career.
“When you look back you realize how blessed you are to have those opportunities,” she said. “All four years I had great teammates. We had point guards, post players, players who could rebound and others who could score.
“They say it takes a village, and it took all of them for us to be successful. A lot of people share this.”
Goins went on to a successful basketball career at Duke. Now retired from state government, she’s worked part time in Kentucky's Teacher Retirement System since 2011. She’s also an assistant coach with the WHHS girls basketball team.
Goins’ father, Cecil Goins, passed in 2016, but Goins is planning for her mother, Mary Goins, and her brother, Tommy Goins, to attend the induction ceremony.
“I had great coaches, great teammates, and other players’ parents who became like family,” Goins said. “We made memories I’ll cherish forever.”