The McDonald’s All-American, Parade All-American, Scholastic Coach All-American, USA Today All-American, and Mr. Basketball runner-up in the state of Indiana chose to play basketball at Kentucky with offers from other multiple elite basketball schools.
James Blackmon Sr. totaled 866 points, 314 rebounds, 271 assists and 149 steals, while starting three out of his four years as a Wildcat. Blackmon played in the 1984 Final Four as a freshman and served as co-captain during his senior year.
Blackmon was drafted 94th overall in the 5th round of the 1987 NBA Draft to the New Jersey Nets. However, Blackmon never played a game; he was cut following a trade that put the roster over the limit. Blackmon went on to play overseas, where he spent the next eight years playing in the CBA and the World Basketball League.
After hanging up his basketball shoes, Blackmon decided to give coaching a try. In 2004, Blackmon was hired as the head coach of Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne, IN. Blackmon took over a team that had a combined record of 7-33 for the prior two seasons. Blackmon spent nine seasons at Bishop Luers, where he won back-to-back Class 2A State Championships in 2008 and 2009.
In 2011, Blackmon was hired by his alma mater, Marion High School, before announcing his resignation as the head coach and his plan to return to Bishop Luers. However, in April of 2013, Blackmon accepted the head coaching position at Marion. This time it was a permanent.
In his first season as the head coach at Marion, the Giants went 18-5 and lost in the sectional semifinals. This previous season Blackmon and the Giants completed their season with and 15-10 record, losing in the first round of the sectional tournament.
Blackmon met his wife, Sailaja Blackmon, at Kentucky and the two have three sons; James, Vijay and Jalen. The Big Blue Nation is familiar with Blackmon’s eldest son, James Blackmon Jr., who currently plays for Indiana University. Blackmon Jr. was recruited by Kentucky, but chose the Hoosiers to stay in his home state. Blackmon Jr. broke his father’s school record by scoring 54 points in a game. Blackmon Sr. was able to have the opportunity to coach his son, James, in all four years of his high school basketball career; three years at Bishop Luers and one year at Marion.
Blackmon Sr. continues to coach at Marion High School, where he is looking forward to the 2015-16 season.