Jim Hurley will go down in Transylvania University history as the first African American basketball player who completed the degree program and graduated from the university.
Named Most Valuable Player in men’s basketball for three straight seasons at Transylvania, Hurley was the team’s top scorer in each of those years. He was named to the NCAA All-American team as a senior, when he averaged 23.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest.
“It was my honor and privilege to coach Jim Hurley at Transylvania,” said C.M. Newton in an interview with the Bourbon County Citizen. “Jim was one of the top players I’ve coached at any level,” said Newton. “He came from a good family background with good values and a good work ethic. I knew Jim was going to be successful in whatever he chose to do. He was a tremendous role model then, and is a tremendous role model now.”
Indeed, Hurley moved through the ranks at Proctor and Gamble, rising from sales representative to vice president before he retired after 30 years of service. He has continued to work as a marketing and organizational consultant.
Hurley has served on the Transylvania Board of Trustees, as an Alumni Weekend speaker, and as leader of the university’s summer staff development workshop.
The Paris, Ky., native was inducted into the university’s Pioneer Hall of Fame in 1999 and has been lauded as one of Transylvania’s all-time greatest men’s basketball players.