TOPEKA — Former Kansas basketball standout Paul Pierce, who will appear Tuesday at the Kansas Expocentre as the featured speaker at The Topeka Capital-Journal's Best of Kansas Preps banquet, will be one of 13 inductees into this year's Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Three-time Kansas State All-American and former star returner David Allen also will be part of this year's class — one of three Wildcat legends to be enshrined this year — the hall announced Wednesday. The class will be inducted Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in the Wichita Boathouse.
Pierce played for the Jayhawks from 1995-98, earning first-team All-America honors by both the Associated Press and coaches in 1997-98 as a junior. Pierce scored 777 points his junior season, the fifth-most points in a single season in KU history, and ranks fifth on the Jayhawks' career scoring chart with 1,786 points.
Pierce spent 19 years in the NBA after leaving KU. He played 15 seasons for Boston, helping the Celtics win the NBA championship in 2008 and finishing as one of only three players in team history — Larry Bird and John Havlicek were the others — to score more than 20,000 points with the Celtics.
Pierce will be in the capital city on Tuesday to help honor high school athletes from across the state. The Capital-Journal's inaugural Best of Kansas Preps event will recognize the top student-athletes in 22 sports. Tickets for the event can be purchased at cjonline.com/preps.
Allen became K-State football's sixth consensus All-American following the 1998 season, when the Liberty, Mo., product set school records for punt-return yards (730) and touchdowns (4).
Allen set K-State career punt-return records for yards (1,646), average (16.0), touchdowns (7) and attempts (103) from 1997-2000. A 2008 inductee into K-State's Ring of Honor, Allen also earned first-team All-America honors in 1999 and 2000 before playing five seasons in the NFL with San Francisco, Minnesota, Jacksonville and St. Louis.
Also voted into the Kansas State Sports Hall this year from K-State were former defensive back Clarence Scott and women's sharpshooter Laurie Koehn.
A defensive back for the Wildcats from 1968-70, Scott earned first-team All-America honors from Sporting News and Look Magazine in 1970 in addition to being named a first-team All-Big Eight selection. He was drafted 14th overall in the 1971 NFL Draft by Cleveland and went on to play 13 seasons in the league, helping the Browns to four playoff appearances and earning Pro Bowl recognition in 1973.
Koehn is the K-State and Big 12 career leader in 3-point field goals with 392 from 2001-05. A native of Hesston, Koehn was a two-time second-team All-Big 12 player who also earned a gold medal with the 2002 USA Basketball World Championship for Young Women Team and a silver medal as a member of the 2003 USA Basketball Pan American Games Team.
Other members of this year's Kansas Sports Hall of Fame class include:
• Angela Buckner, a Wichitan who was a three-time Missouri Valley Conference selection and is the all-time Wichita State women’s rebounding leader.
• Larry Drew, a Wyandotte basketball star who played for Missouri before embarking on a 10-year NBA playing career and then becoming a longtime head coach and assistant in the NBA.
• Wichitan Buff Farrow, a two-time All-America tennis selection at UCLA.
• Winfield's Jim Helmer, a former Southwestern track and cross country coach who won 85 KCAC championships.
• Darryl Jones, a four-time NAIA All-American who helped Benedictine win the 1967 national basketball championship.
• Ewing Kauffman, the late founder and owner of the Kansas City Royals and a longtime Kansas resident.
• Adam LaRoche, a 2012 Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award winner and 12-year Major League Baseball veteran from Fort Scott.
• Chuck Smith, Colgan's five-time state football championship coach.
• Mitch Webster, a 13-year MLB veteran and baseball scout from Larned.