Leroy Byrd, listed at five-feet-five, but as he says, “no more than five-three,” played basketball for the University of Kentucky and UNLV after finishing a high school career in which he earned state and regional honors while leading Bryan Station to the Sweet Sixteen. He later played professionally for the Harlem Magicians and in the World Basketball League. Known as “Baby Magic,” Byrd contributed to his team’s offense with scoring and assists and disrupted opponents with ball-hawking defense.
In this interview, he talks about getting his start in basketball, his confidence and motivation to succeed, his high school and college coaches (Bobby Barlow at Bryan Station, Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV, Joe B. Hall and Eddie Sutton at Kentucky), and some of his keys to success in a tall player’s sport.
Byrd will be inducted into the Lexington African-American Sports Hall of Fame September 23rd.