July 14, 2014
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Tennessee basketball All-American Chris Lofton (2005-08) was inducted into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday at The State Theater in Elizabethtown, Ky.
Before his stellar, four-year career at Tennessee, Lofton shot his way to "legend" status as a prep standout at Mason County High School in Maysville, Ky. He led the Royals to three state tournament appearances and a state championship in 2003. He was named the tournament's MVP that year, and followed that up by earning Kentucky's "Mr. Basketball" award in 2004.
In 10 career Kentucky state tournament game appearances during his career, he scored 252 points.
Lofton scored a total of 2,763 career points at Mason County.
Unbeknownst to many, Lofton's athletic exploits in high school also extended to the gridiron. He still holds Mason County's career records for career receptions (175), receiving yards (3,511) and receiving touchdowns (38). His 2003 senior totals of 74 catches for 1,624 yards and 20 touchdowns also stand as MCHS single-season records.
"Being from this small town in Maysville, sports is a way of life," Lofton told Maysville's The Ledger Independent newspaper. "I remember growing up, I couldn't wait to play for the Mason County Royals in basketball and football. It's just a part of Maysville, it's all about sports. It was so much fun for me to be able to put on that jersey for the first time as a freshman and I just enjoyed it."
Tennessee was one of only a few schools to offer the 6-2 shooting guard a basketball scholarship, but his impressive honors haul as a Volunteer included All-American acclaim in three straight seasons, the 2007 Associated Press SEC Player of the Year Award and the NABC Career Achievement Award.
"When I got (to Tennessee), I just wanted to prove everyone wrong," Lofton said.
One of the most prolific 3-point shooters in NCAA history, Lofton still reigns as the SEC's all-time "3-Point King," having made 431 career triples.
Lofton ranks fourth on UT's all-time scoring list with 2,131 career points. He averaged 16.6 points per game during his collegiate career and shot .422 from 3-point range.
His career as a Vol saw the Tennessee program earn its first-ever No. 1 national ranking (Feb. 2008) and make a pair of NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen appearances (2007, 2008).
After his senior season at Tennessee, Lofton embarked on a professional basketball career that has included stops in the NBA D-League, Spain, Russia and, most recently, Turkey.
In the summer of 2010, he returned to Knoxville to complete his degree requirements.
"Character is first, people always remember your character and that's what's most important," Lofton said. "Whether you can play basketball or not, I realize and feel that your character takes you farther. I just always wanted to be a good person, and my parents taught me that."