From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Warford, Reggie

(born: September 15, 1954  -  died: May 2022) 

Born in Drakesboro, KY, Reggie Warford became the first African American basketball player to graduate from the University of Kentucky. He was a 6'1" guard who played in 50 games from 1972 to 1976, scoring 206 total points by the end of his college career. Warford went on to become an assistant coach at Pitt, Iowa State and Long Beach State, and also was head coach of the Harlem Globetrotters in 2003. While at Pitt in 1986, Warford sued the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, claiming that it had defamed him in an article about improper recruiting offers in college basketball, specifically in reference to Steve Miller, a forward from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, KY. An article published October 28, 1985, quoted Miller as saying that Warford told him he would get a raise if he signed Miller and that Miller "would benefit from that raise also." The law suit was settled out of court in 1991. Reggie Warford died in May of 2022.

For more see articles related to the case in the Lexington Herald-Leader, from 1986-1991; see UK career statistics for Reggie Warford at Big Blue History; Jerry Tipton, "Reggie Warford, ‘patriarch’ of integration for Kentucky basketball, dies at 67," Lexington Herald-Leader, Online at Kentucky Sports.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Muhlenberg County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Drakesboro, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Warford, Reggie,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 27, 2022,

Last modified: 2022-05-26 13:01:20