WHEELING, W.Va. - The 10th class of Legends of Ohio Valley Athletic Conference schools will include arguably the best basketball player to don a Potters jersey.
The late Porter Mackey, a 1936 graduate of East Liverpool High School, will be among five "Legends" feted at the 11th annual OVAC Hall of Fame banquet Aug. 16 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
Other inductees include Caldwell's Connie Sanford Richardson, a three-sport standout and All-Ohio basketball honoree in 1982; Benwood Union's Andy Tonkovich, who is the only Ohio Valley product drafted No. 1 overall by the National Basketball Association; Magnolia's John Wood, captain of the 1931 one-class All-West Virginia football team; and Martins Ferry's Bill Young, an honored starter on Purple Rider football and basketball teams which won, or shared, two Ohio state championships in 1941.
Four will be honored posthumously - Mackey, Tonkovich, Wood and Young.
The OVAC Hall of Fame, sponsored by Bob Robinson Chevrolet-Cadillac in Wheeling, and the OVAC Sports Museum are located inside WesBanco Arena.
"The Legends of OVAC schools is an effort to honor athletes and coaches who competed prior to the conference origin in 1943 or while their schools were not members of the conference," said Tom Rataiczak, executive secretary of the OVAC.
In the final year of the jump ball-after-every-goal era, Mackey - a shooting whiz also noted for his passing finesse - was listed by media as leading Ohio preps in scoring.
He tallied 408 points during a senior season when the Potters recorded an 18-3 record. Rules were changed in 1937 to eliminate the center jump after every goal and scoring totals, both for individuals and teams, generally increased with the faster, uninterrupted play.
In the era of low scoring games, the four-year Potter performer set a school career scoring record and reached a game high of 28 points three times during his final season.
He was recognized on local all-star teams but played before the All-Ohio selections were originated by The Associated Press in 1939.
Mackey, who was among the charter inductees into the East Liverpool High School Athletic Hall of Fame, is acclaimed by some Potter historians as the school's finest high school cager.
He retired to Peoria, Ariz.