Ralph D. Richardson was born and grew up in Russell County, Kentucky. He was the third of five children born to Osa and Vida Richardson. When he was in the eighth grade, the Russell County High School basket ball coach, Chuck Mrazovich, asked him to join the team, and that changed Ralph's life forevermore.
Ralph became an outstanding basketball player and was chosen as Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 1958. He had become a basketball icon during Golden Age of Basketball in Kentucky in the mid 1950's. During his junior year at EKU, "Big Ralph" was approached by the New York Knickerbocker Organization and was drafted in 1961. At that time players weren't offered pro contracts until the end of their senior year. Unfortunately Ralph's experience with the Knicks ended when he broke his hip going after a loose ball. He came back to Eastern Kentucky University, earned a B.A. degree and began a 43-year teaching career. He also was a farmer, beekeeper, and he and his wife, Jan, ran an antique business. He was and avid hunter as well. An idle man he was not.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Osa and Vida Richardson, his four siblings, Osa Gene, Lewis, Bruce, Paulette and his son, Darrell Richardson.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Jan (Johnson); son, Joshua (Katherine); and four grandchildren, Alexandra, Donovan, Nathaniel and Micheal.
In lieu of flowers, Ralph requested that donations be made to the Paul McBrayer Basketball Scholarship Fund at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.
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