1. #1
    Premium Member Wireman's Avatar
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    Default Talking to a Legend: Ervin Stepp

    I put this in Boy's Basketball because that is how Stepp is best remembered:

    The name Ervin Stepp is a legendary name in the annals of basketball history in Eastern Kentucky. As players that were the greatest of their generation, you’ll find Stepp sandwiched between the great “King” Kelly Coleman of Wayland and Clay County’s sharp-shooting Richie Farmer on a timeline.

    Stepp, who played for the Phelps Hornets, took scoring to levels that will likely never be witnessed again. If you’re unaware of Ervin Stepp, take a glance at the KHSAA record books and prepare to be dazzled. Kelly Coleman’s 46.8 scoring average for the 1955-56 season ranks third in the KHSAA record books list for Most Points Scored-Per Game-Season. In the top two spots, you’ll find Ervin Stepp in 1978-79 with a 47.2 average and Stepp again in 1979-80 with an absurd 53.7 points per game average. Did you catch that? That is a 53.7 scoring average for an entire high school season – in an era before the three-point line was ever imagined. Those averages led to 2,724 points in only two seasons.

    Stepp recalls several memories from his high school days that were rare in the Phelps area. He remembers sitting in a high school classroom and having the class interrupted by a reporting crew from CBS. He remembers winning the prestigious Hertz #1 award. Then, there is the Kentucky Mr. Basketball award in he earned in 1980. He is also quick to point out the intense, “knock-down, drag-out” battles in the Stepp-family backyard.

    Ervin grew up with several family members that are basketball legends in their own right. His older brother Joe led the state in scoring in 1971 and 1972. Another brother, Jim, led the state in scoring in 1978. Then, Ervin came along and led the entire nation in scoring in 1979 and 1980. He describes his late father as “being way ahead of his time” in teaching basketball and his uncle Orville as “a great player during his time.” The Stepp name is synonymous with great basketball and is well known throughout Eastern Kentucky.

    I sat down with Ervin Stepp last night and what I discovered is a man that is as passionate about the sport of basketball as any person I have ever met. Here is my discussion with the legendary Ervin Stepp.

    Check out the Interview

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    Nice interview. Good job. I stumbled on an article about Phil Cox (Mr. Basketball '81) from Cawood High School a few years ago and it's always great to see where these guys end up in life.

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    Premium Member Wireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FormerCawoodTrojan View Post
    Nice interview. Good job. I stumbled on an article about Phil Cox (Mr. Basketball '81) from Cawood High School a few years ago and it's always great to see where these guys end up in life.
    I have never talked to anyone, hands down, that loves basketball more than Ervin Stepp.

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    Awesome interview, I actually loved the non basketball part of his life.

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    He certainly likes talking about himself and his stats!

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    Premium Member Wireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutitdown View Post
    He certainly likes talking about himself and his stats!
    I certainly would to if I averaged 53.7 PPG for an entire season

    I think it's also important to note that certainly likes talking about God, as well.

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    Premium Member Tiger1's Avatar
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    I am sure he was a great player, but he was not the best one in the state in 1980 and should not have won Mr. Basketball. Dicky Beal of Cov. Holmes deserved the award and got shafted.

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    Premium Member Wireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger1 View Post
    I am sure he was a great player, but he was not the best one in the state in 1980 and should not have won Mr. Basketball. Dicky Beal of Cov. Holmes deserved the award and got shafted.
    I'm sure Dicky Beal was a great player, but it's hard to argue against 53.7 PPG - with no 3-point line.

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    Ervin Stepp was agreat high school player. I remember The LHL running a special box on him so that their readers could keep up with his scoring exploits. He was a step slow for the next level. I saw his last collegiate game and even playing at the NAIA level he was not quick enough. He had great skills but square wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireman View Post
    I'm sure Dicky Beal was a great player, but it's hard to argue against 53.7 PPG - with no 3-point line.
    I'm pretty sure Dicky as well as many others in the state could have averaged that playing that schedule and taking the amount of shots that Stepp averaged. I wonder why he didn't mention his scoring exploits at EKU when he played against decent competition. What were his averages there?

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    Premium Member Clyde's Avatar
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    Anyone that thinks Ervin was a better baller than Dicky simply doesn't understand b-ball. Dicky was Mr Basketball to everyone besides the voters.

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    Premium Member Wireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    Anyone that thinks Ervin was a better baller than Dicky simply doesn't understand b-ball. Dicky was Mr Basketball to everyone besides the voters.

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    HDE
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    We had this discussion before. Stepp was a great player, but he wasn't the best of that era, even in eastern Kentucky. Phil Cox was Mr. Basketball in 1981 and was the all-time leading scorer at Vanderbilt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireman View Post
    I'm sure Dicky Beal was a great player, but it's hard to argue against 53.7 PPG - with no 3-point line.
    How many did he average from the free throw line though? I didn't see him play in high school but people who did have told me that if you got in breathing range of him a foul was called.

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    Premium Member Wireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Professor View Post
    How many did he average from the free throw line though? I didn't see him play in high school but people who did have told me that if you got in breathing range of him a foul was called.
    He said in the interview that he averaged 14-15 points a game from the line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HDE View Post
    We had this discussion before. Stepp was a great player, but he wasn't the best of that era, even in eastern Kentucky. Phil Cox was Mr. Basketball in 1981 and was the all-time leading scorer at Vanderbilt.
    I'll still put Phil's game up against Farmer...maybe i'm biased a little, but I would. I know he isn't the most liked person around Cawood Athletics (when Cawood was still there), but his game was exceptional. I didn't see Stepp play, so that is why I made the Farmer comparison.

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    Seems like a ton of dissing of Stepp. Even if he wasn't as good as Cox or Beal, give the man some respect. 53pts/game, are you kidding me? I'm not good enough defensively to disrespect something like that, tell me you wouldn't want that title. I sucked as a HS player, and I still think I was good, if I averaged 53, I'd be less humble than Stepp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEERFAN View Post
    Seems like a ton of dissing of Stepp. Even if he wasn't as good as Cox or Beal, give the man some respect. 53pts/game, are you kidding me? I'm not good enough defensively to disrespect something like that, tell me you wouldn't want that title. I sucked as a HS player, and I still think I was good, if I averaged 53, I'd be less humble than Stepp.
    I have to go with you on this. I can't say he shot too much either - he hit almost 60% of his shots, which is fine by me.

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    Didn't he wind up playing college ball for Alice Lloyd?

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    Stepp had tremendous elevation on his jumper and a quick release. He was one of the greatest scorers that ever lived in the bluegrass. The reason he didn't play more at the next level was because he couldn't defend.

    Beal was a better prospect at the next level but there is no way Stepp is not Mr Basketball in 1980. Beal's numbers didn't justify it. Stepp's numbers were out of this world. Beal = better player, Stepp = Mr Basketball. No doubt on either, and I have played agaist both in the day.