From humble beginnings on a Taylor County tenant farm, Clem Haskins earned his way to basketball glory. With dignity and class throughout his life, Clem proved to be a true pioneer who – along the way – opened doors for others of his race. Playing first for Campbellsville Durham in ’59 through ’61, Clem “The Gem” made the decision to transfer to all-white Taylor County High for his Junior and Senior seasons. Here, the big, quick, sharp-shooting guard led his team to the 1963 State ‘Sweet Sixteen” one generally regarded as an important pivotal point in our high school sport’s history. While at Taylor County, Clem earned “All-State” and “All-American” honors.
Following high school Clem and Dwight Smith became the first two black players to don the “Hilltopper” jerseys of Western Kentucky. An outstanding professional career followed.