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Ron Allen, a member of Arizona’s famed “Kiddie Korps” under Fred Snowden in the early 1970’s, will be inducted into the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame next month.
Allen won two state basketball championships in 2002 and 2005 as the Wichita East head basketball coach. He coached at the school from 1994 to 2012. His 301-146 record makes him the second winningest coach in Wichita history. He is also an inductee in the Wichita East, Southeast and Biddy Basketball hall of fames.
He retired as a teacher and coach after the 2011-12 school year but returned for a brief stint as coach of Wichita Sunrise Christian Academy’s postgraduate boys team in 2013-14.
Snowden’s successful first recruiting class of 1972 — one that made Arizona more of a national program — was dubbed the “Kiddie Korps” by the local Tucson media. The standouts of that group include Allen, Eric Money, Coniel Norman, Al Fleming and Jim Rappis.
Allen hails from Wichita, Kan. Money and Norman came to Tucson from Detroit. Fleming is from Michigan City, Ind., and Rappis is from Waukesha, Wis.
Snowden, the first African-American to coach a major college program, was inducted into Pac-12 Hall of Honor last week. One of his achievements was putting Arizona basketball on the national map by recruiting beyond the Southwest and guiding the Wildcats to the Elite Eight only four years into his tenure.
Allen messaged AllSportsTucson.com this week and mentioned Snowden’s Hall of Honor induction was “a well deserved honor”.
“Please allow me to express my joy and happiness for coach Snowden,” Allen wrote. “He was and always will be a great man, one that has impacted my life in a personal and positive way.
“After my career in Tucson I returned home to Wichita, Kan., to begin a 35-year coaching career in high school basketball. Proud to be inducted into the Wichita Hall Of Fame and that would not have happened without all of the many lessons coach taught me. I love that man and thank God for him always.”
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