- John DeMoisey
- Hometown (Last School)
- Walton, KY (High)
- 1931-32, 1932-33, 1933-34
- August 5, 1912
John DeMoisey was born John R. “Frenchy” DeMoisey on August 5, 1912, in Walton, Kentucky. He was a standout basketball player at Walton High School, where he led the team to the state championship in 1932. DeMoisey was also a member of the Kentucky All-Star team in 1932.
After graduating from high school, DeMoisey enrolled at the University of Kentucky, where he played basketball for Adolph Rupp. He was a member of the 1934 Kentucky Wildcats team that won the Southeastern Conference championship and finished third in the NCAA Tournament. DeMoisey averaged 11.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game during his college career.
After graduating from Kentucky, DeMoisey played professional basketball for one season with the Oshkosh All-Stars of the National Basketball League. He then returned to Kentucky and worked as a salesman for a local insurance company.
Here are some of John DeMoisey’s notable achievements:
- Member of the 1934 Kentucky Wildcats team that won the Southeastern Conference championship and finished third in the NCAA Tournament
- Averaged 11.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game during his college career
- Played professional basketball for one season with the Oshkosh All-Stars of the National Basketball League
- Inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982
One of DeMoisey’s most notable achievements was his development of the “one-hand overhead pivot shot.” This shot was considered to be revolutionary at the time, and it helped to make DeMoisey one of the most feared scorers in the Southeastern Conference. DeMoisey’s shot was also featured in a 1934 Life magazine article, which helped to increase his national exposure.
DeMoisey was also a gifted athlete who excelled in other sports, including baseball and football. He was a member of the Kentucky All-Star baseball team in 1933, and he was also a standout football player at Walton High School.
After his playing career, DeMoisey remained active in the basketball community. He served as a referee for several years, and he also coached basketball at the high school and college levels. DeMoisey was a respected figure in the basketball world, and he was known for his passion for the game.
He later served as recreation director for the Kentucky Houses of Reform at Greendale and became superintendent there in 1941, a post he held three years before resigning to manage the Blue Grass farms of the LeBus brothers.
DeMoisey also taught school and coached basketball at Harrodsburg and Grayson high schools and once pitched for the Louisville Colonels.
DeMoisey participated in the 1935 political campaign conducted by Chandler and joined his first administration in 1963. His son, John Chandler DeMoisey, a senior at Georgetown College, is named for the former governor.
He suffered a heart attack July 24, 1963, while driving to Lexington but was able to continue to the hospital. DeMoisey died on August 1, 1963, at the age of 50. He was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982.
Former Gov. Chandler said, “He will be missed by thousands of Kentuckians who were his friends and mine. He was a big, rugged fellow. I used to ask one of my granddaughters how much she loved me and she’d say, ‘As big as Frenchy’.”
Chandler estimated that DeMoisey had driven him ‘more than a million miles’ during his campaigns and added, “He was a devoted and beloved friend.”
UK Coach Adolph Rupp credited DeMoisey with being the first basketball player to use the one-hand overhead pivot shot. The six-foot, five-inch tall All America developed the shot in 1932 and first used it in a game between UK and Vanderbilt, according to Rupp. Rupp called him “a self-made basketball player who worked and worked at it. It was encouraging to see the boy play.”
John DeMoisey was a talented athlete and a dedicated coach who made significant contributions to the game of basketball. He will be remembered for his pioneering shot, his competitive spirit, and his love of the game.