Purples’ Turner Buttry makes it official with EKU


Bowling Green High School’s Turner Buttry has put in the work on the basketball court. In the classroom. With the weights and physical conditioning.

It’s part of his M.O.

“He’ll fight ya tooth and nail,” veteran BGHS coach DG Sherrill said Thursday morning at Buttry’s ceremonial signing with Eastern Kentucky University.

Buttry was joined by two other Bowling Green athletes, shortstop/pitcher Patrick Forbes, who signed with the University of Louisville baseball team, and swimmer Phillip Kenner, who will compete for the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team.

It was a festive atmosphere inside the BGHS arena, with Buttry signing first, with a large contingent of EKU fans on hand.

The 5-foot-11 Buttry guided a senior-laden Purples squad to the KHSAA Sweet Sixteen last season, averaging 16 points per game on a team that finished its season 24-3. Buttry also averaged four assists and three rebounds per game while leading Bowling Green in free-throw shooting.

We’re talking 93 percent free-throw shooting.

Buttry also hit a 70-foot shot just before halftime in the Purples’ 85-57 victory over University Heights Academy in the Sweet Sixteen at the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena. Bowling Green was knocked out in the quarterfinals, falling to Ballard.

Buttry was joined by his parents — Shane Buttry is a BGHS assistant coach — at the ceremony, as well as his Purples teammates and classmates.

“Turner’s always dedicated himself to the game,” Shane Buttry said. “He throws his body around.”

Sherrill likes his confidence on the court and tenacity on the defensive end of the floor.

“Every time he shoots a 3, we think it’s going in,” Sherrill said.

Turner Buttry posed for a photo with his Purples teammates — Sherrill will have a revamped but talented lineup in 2021-22 — and also met with AAU basketball teammates Caden Veltkamp, the South Warren quarterback/power forward and Greenwood swingman Cade Stinnett.

Veltkamp’s South Warren football squad will tangle with Bowling Green in the KHSAA Class 5A playoffs on Friday night. The Spartans (10-1) are the No. 1-ranked Class 5A team in the state, and the Purples (6-5) are the defending KHSAA Class 5A state champion.

The 5-foot-11 Buttry wasn’t heavily recruited but cast his lot with Eastern Kentucky before his junior year. Buttry said his doubters “have allowed me to grind even harder … I want to thank (EKU) Coach (A.W.) Hamilton, and the EKU staff, for seeing something in me that not many others did.”

Buttry is the lone returning starter from last season’s team, but Sherrill isn’t one to sell the Purples short, and Buttry isn’t either.

“This is exactly where I want to be,” Buttry said. “We can’t wait to get started.”

Bowling Green opens the season at home against Evangel Christian on November 30.


Patrick Forbes already has put his imprint on Bowling Green High School baseball, and when he’s done he’ll be playing for one of the top college squads in the country, signing with the University of Louisville on Thursday.

The 6-foot-2 Forbes doubles as a shortstop and pitcher for the Purples, who went 34-6 last year, dropping a 5-4 decision to McCracken County in first-round play of the KHSAA state tournament at Western Kentucky University’s Nick Denes Field. Forbes hit .406 with 14 extra-base hits and 35 RBI last season for the Purples, striking out just 10 times in 96 at bats. On the mound, in limited duty, Forbes went 1-1 with 22 strikeouts in just 11 2/3 innings pitched.

BGHS coach Nathan Isenberg said the Cardinals plan to use Forbes at both pitcher and in the infield, something U of L coach Dan McDonnell has embraced over the years.

“I don’t think the University of Louisville will be Patrick’s last stop, playing baseball,” Isenberg said. “We’ve had some pro scouts come by, too.”

Isenberg said Forbes stood about 5-10 and went a rail-thin 125 pounds when he joined the Purples, but “Patrick was the kind of kid who would never leave … and I would tell him, and a couple others, ‘All right, guys, I’ve got to go home.’ He was constantly growing.”

Forbes said he always wanted to play college baseball at Louisville, which has become a familiar squad over the last decade or so at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.


Bowling Green senior Phillip Kenner was also introduced by BGHS principal Kyle McGraw, before Kenner signed his swimming letter of intent with the University of Kentucky.

UK is one of a handful of SEC schools with a men’s swimming program, and Kenner is a versatile performer who holds BGHS school records in the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter freestyle relay.

Kenner paid tribute to BGHS coach Dee Wilkins and his teammates with the Purples.

“Dee has been with me every step of the way,” Kenner said. “This has been a dream of mine since middle school.”

McGraw opened the presentation with his tributes to Turner Buttry, Patrick Forbes and Phillip Kenner.

“These are three great young men,” he said. “They take care of business in the classroom, and they represent the school very well. None of them are afraid of hard work. They’ve got great futures in front of them.”