LEXINGTON, Ky. — In a ceremony Friday night at the Marriot Griffin Gate Resort, the University of Kentucky inducted six new members into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame. The class included former UK student-athletes Mike Casey (men’s basketball), Steve Flesch (men’s golf), Nancy Napolski Johnson (rifle), Billy Ray Lickert (men’s basketball), Valerie McGovern Young (cross country, track and field) and Tayshaun Prince (men’s basketball).
Mike Casey (1968-69, 71) was a three-time first-team All-SEC (1968, 1969 and 1971) selection in men’s basketball. He finished his career with 1,535 points, currently ranking 13th all-time on UK’s illustrious list of top scorers. Casey averaged 17.0 points or more in all three seasons with the Wildcats, including a team-high 20.0 in his first year on the varsity team. The former guard led the team in assists during the 1968-69 season with 129 assists, in addition to leading the team in field-goal percentage (.489) and free-throw percentage (.823) during the 1967-68 season. Casey helped UK win three SEC championships, earn an Elite Eight appearance and also earned Academic All-America and All-SEC honors in 1971. He was named Kentucky’s High School Mr. Basketball in 1966 and was drafted in the eighth round (130th overall) in the 1970 NBA Draft by Chicago.
Steve Flesch (1987-90) played at UK from 1986-87 through 1989-90 and ranks among the top 40 golfers on the all-time PGA Tour career-earnings list. Flesch has won more than $17 million as a professional and has four PGA victories, the 2003 HP Classic of New Orleans, the 2004 Bank of America Colonial, the 2007 Reno-Tahoe Open and the 2007 Turning Stone Resort Championship. He turned pro in 1990 on the Nationwide Tour and won the Nike Tour Championship in 1997, earning exempt status on the PGA Tour in 1998. In 2001, Flesch ranked second behind Tiger Woods in top-10 finishes with 13. One of three UK medalists in Johnny Owens Invitational history, he was a two-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and named to the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame.
Nancy Napolski Johnson (1993-96) was a UK Rifle All-American and Olympic gold-medal winner for the United States. She captured the individual national championship in air rifle in 1994 and was a three-time first-team All-American (1994, 1995 and 1996). Napolski Johnson led the team to three consecutive third-place finishes at the NCAA Championships from 1994-96. She continued competitive shooting after her collegiate career and won the gold medal in women’s 10-meter air rifle in the 2000 Olympics. She also went on to win gold medals at several other international events.
Billy Ray Lickert (1959-61) was a three-time, first-team All-SEC selection in men’s basketball, including a second-team All-America selection by the Helms Foundation in 1961. He ranks 47th on Kentucky’s all-time scoring list with 1,076 points. Lickert was named to the 1961 NCAA All-Region Team and led the team in scoring during the 1959-60 and 1960-61 seasons, averaging 14.4 points per game in his junior year and 16.0 in his senior campaign. He finished his career with a 14.7 scoring average and was also UK’s leader in field-goal percentage in 1959-60 (.401) and 1960-61 (.420). Named the SEC “Sophomore of the Year” following the 1959 season, his team advanced to two NCAA Tournaments during his three years. Lickert was drafted in the fifth round (No. 45 overall) of the 1961 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Valerie McGovern Young (1988-91) won three individual national championships in the 5,000-meter run and was a key contributor on the 1988 cross country team that won the NCAA national championship. McGovern Young was UK’s top performer at the 1989 national meet, finishing second individually. An eight-time All-American in cross country and track, McGovern Young won eight individual SEC championships, including cross country, 3,000-meter indoor, 5,000-meter indoor (twice), 3,000-meter outdoor (twice) and 5,000-meter outdoor (twice). She still holds five UK track records: 3,000-, 5,000- and 10,000-meter outdoor and the 3,000- and 5,000-meter indoor.
Tayshaun Prince (1999-02) was a two-time men’s basketball Associated Press All-American, garnering second-team honors in 2001 and third-team honors in 2002. Prince was named the SEC Player of the Year in the 2000-01 season by both the AP and the league’s coaches and was a three-time All-SEC selection (2000, 2001 and 2002). He ranks eighth on UK’s all-time scoring list with 1,775 points and third on UK’s all-time 3-point field goals made list with 204. Prince helped lead the Wildcats to three Sweet 16 appearances (1999, 2001 and 2002) and an Elite Eight appearance (1999). He was drafted in the first round (23rd overall) in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. Prince helped lead Detroit to the 2004 NBA Championship and was named to the NBA’s 2005 All-Defensive second team. He was also a member of the 2008 gold-medal Olympic team.
The UK Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 2005 to recognize and honor persons whose participation and contributions enriched and strengthened the University’s athletic program. The charter class included 88 individuals who had previously had their jersey retired by UK.
There is a five-year waiting period – after leaving UK – to be eligible for inclusion into the Hall of Fame and a 10-year waiting period to have a jersey retired. An individual must be a member of the Hall of Fame to be eligible for jersey retirement.
A committee consisting of Hall of Famers, media members, campus representatives, and current coaches and administrators elects new inductees each year.