A great player for Wheelwright, the first in its great basketball history to ever make the All State 1st Team, was Jeff Riley. Riley accomplished that feat in his senior season of 1977. 
Steadily thru his high school career, Riley’s stats climbed before exploding in his senior season of 1976-77.
As a freshman Riley scored 11 ppg. As a sophomore that average went up to 17 ppg. As a junior it climbed to 21.4 and he was an All State Honorable Mention selection as he led the Trojans to a 20-6 record and falling in the District Tournament 60-58 to eventual 15th Region champions Betsy Layne.
Riley was second in state scoring in his senior season with a 28.1 avg, scoring 898 points in 32 games. That average came not from just putting up a lot of shots as we witness a lot of times. Efficiency is the word describing Riley’s approach, especially as a senior when he hit 55% of his attempts from the floor.
Riley set a school record with 50 points in a game against Elkhorn City and twice hit for 48 against Menifee County and Whitesburg.
Scoring wasn’t all the talented Riley was noted for. As a senior he averaged 12 rebounds and six assists. He was also a great student. Based on a four point system he had a GPA of 3.9.
Riley led his Trojan teammates to a 24-8 record that senior season, teaming with All State Honorable Mention teammate Dewey Jamerson to take the Trojans to the Regional semifinals. After defeating Paintsville 71-58 in the opening round they took it to eventual Regional champs Virgie before falling 56-54.
He was selected to the All State 1st Team at Wheelwright in 1977, making him the first All State 1st Team player in school history. That was quite an accomplishment as you know if you have followed our posts over the years. 
Riley was coached by Frankie Francis, who we have discovered helped lots of players in the area get scholarships to further their basketball careers. Francis said Riley had all the tools. “He’s a great perimeter shooter who uses the glass well. He handles the ball exceptionally well and he’s a great passer.”
Prestonsburg’s former star who played at Ole Miss, Fred Setser, was coaching Prestonsburg High School at the time. Setser had played against some of the best the area had ever offered as well as being one himself. He stated his thought s on Riley “ He is one of the best basketball players ever developed in eastern Kentucky. He’s big, he’s quick, he’s smart and an excellent shooter… He can go one on one with any high school kid in the state.”
Riley received several offers but chose to play at Georgia Tech. He played in ten games there in his first season before transferring to Morehead. He later became an assistant at UK.


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