(KMAland) -- One of the most prolific scorers in the history of 6-on-6 basketball is the latest KMA Sports Hall of Fame announcement.
Vivian (Fleming) Perkins scored over 4,000 points during a career that spanned from 1953 to 1958. The last half of that career was probably her most impactful, as she led Emerson to the 1958 state tournament.
“We won a lot of games, but we were a small team,” Perkins remembers. “I was the tallest at 5-foot-6, and I was the oldest on that team.”
In that 1958 state tournament, Perkins introduced herself to those across the state that didn’t know of her yet. She set multiple records at the tournament, including making 20 straight free throws in a game and scoring 200 points for the tournament.
“When we were leaving the court at halftime, they announced I had (set the free throw record),” Perkins said. “(Coach Marlin Mercer) was walking right beside me, and he said, ‘Records don’t win games.’ That kind of brought me right back into the game.”
Emerson would advance all the way to the state championship game before losing to West Central by a 59-51 final.
Perkins was long ago inducted into the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Hall of Fame for a career that started at Strand High School and finished with Emerson. Only nine girls in Iowa scored more points than Perkins’ 4,168 – and none of them graduated from a KMAland school, making Perkins the all-time leading scorer in KMAland history.
“I could never have done it alone,” Perkins said. “The other girls on the team were very good, and probably didn’t get the notoriety that they should have. It was just a great, exciting time for us.”
While Perkins is hesitant to receive praise and still humbly accepts mention of her great feats, there was a lot of hard work that went into this amazing basketball career.
“I don’t remember how young I was, but my dad put up a basketball hole out in the driveway,” Perkins said. “I was always out there playing. It was just something to do at the time, and it certainly helped me learn how to shoot.”
Perkins will be inducted into the KMA Sports Hall of Fame at a later date to be determined. Listen to the complete interview from Thursday’s Upon Further Review announcement below.
OTHER 2019-20 KMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCEMENTS