Central Academy of Excellence hosted a court dedication in honor of Central’s legendary basketball coach, Jack Bush, Sr., on Monday, Dec. 11 at the school. The celebration kicked off with a campus tour and reception for Bush and family, Central alumni and community members. Two Central alumni teams entertained visitors with a quick alumni basketball game prior to the dedication.
The celebration started with KCPS legal counsel Ivan Nugent reading a decree from the Board of Directors naming the Central basketball court Jack Bush, Sr. Basketball Court. Community activist and Central’s parent liaison Mary Williams-Neal followed with a declaration from the city of Kansas City announcing Dec. 11 as Jack Bush Day. Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. also read a proclamation from Jackson County recognizing Bush’s contributions to Central as well as the Kansas City community over the years.
Bush joined Central High School in 1968 as the head basketball coach, where he led the Blue Eagles for 33 years. In all, Bush’s teams won 799 games and Bush led the Blue Eagles to 10 final four appearances and one state title in 1979.
Bush had a successful basketball coaching career that included receiving the National High School Gold Coach Award from Scholastic Coach Magazine in 1988. In 1999, Bush was selected as Coach of the Year by the Kansas City Star. McDonald’s selected him to coach the McDonald’s All-American Basketball Team as well. Bush was named Coach of the Year 15 times, and was the winner of the Eddie Ryan Award as the Best Basketball Coach in Kansas City five times.
Following the dedication, the Central Eagles boys basketball team tipped off against Interscholastic League rival Southeast High School Knights. Bush sat with the team on the sidelines during the game.
To see more photos of the event, visit KCPS’ Flickr site.