Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball and Mr. Baseball 2022 share a close friendship

Walking down the halls of Bowling Green High School, Turner Buttry and Patrick Forbes greeted each other with glamorous superlatives.

“Mr. Basketball,” Forbes would say to Buttry.

“Mr. Baseball,” Buttry would respond to Forbes.

In the fall of 2021, the two friends were looking to win these awards, but not sure they would. No high school in Kentucky had ever hosted the winners of Mr. Basketball and Mr. Baseball in the same year.

But throughout the 2021-22 school year, the two have set their sights on making history.

“I think you’ll win Mr. Basketball,” Forbes told Buttry before the start of the basketball season.

“Bro, I think you could win Mr. Baseball,” Buttry told Forbes after watching him hit three homers and a grand slam in an early-season game.

Bowling Green High School's Patrick Forbes, a University of Louisville draftee, has been named Kentucky Mr. Baseball 2022 by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association.

“We just clicked”

Forbes played basketball and football throughout college, but wanted to play college baseball. He gave up the other two sports in pursuit of baseball, but Buttry — set to play basketball for Eastern Kentucky University in the fall — said he was an all-around athlete.

“I actually tried to get Patrick to play basketball last season,” Buttry said. “He can 360 (dunk), he can grind, he’s an athletic dude.”

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Buttry began taking basketball seriously in third grade, playing under Jeff Sheppard, a two-time national champion with the Kentucky Wildcats in the late 1990s, and his son, Reed, a member of Kentucky’s 2023 recruiting class.

Before fully embarking on basketball, however, Buttry played baseball until eighth grade. He said it was his main sport at first, but the throwing impacted his shoulder so he quit.

Ironically, he met Forbes, now a baseball player in Louisville, shortly after moving to Bowling Green his freshman year of high school.

Buttry and Forbes hung around a group of mutual friends throughout that year, and the two began training together at Link Elite Training over the summer. The training sessions proved to be beneficial for their playing career, as well as their friendship.

“I think I gained about 60 pounds through high school,” Forbes said.

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Both sports enthusiasts, they watched the NBA Finals and the Super Bowl together. Other times they would go to another friend’s house to go swimming in the pool or shoot hoops on his court.

Forbes said the two would have fun in class once in a while as freshmen, but it helped them bond during their early high school years.

“Every time we saw each other we just clicked and it was a good friendship that I think will last for a while,” Buttry said.

“I can really win this thing”

At the start of their senior year, the two supported each other in their pursuit of the Mr. Basketball and Mr. Baseball titles.

What started as a pre-season goal has slowly become a mid-season possibility. The time the two spent training over the summer was starting to pay off.

When Forbes told Buttry he was going to win, Buttry thought he had a chance. He wasn’t entirely sure, but once he got to the halfway point of the season, he hit a turning point.

“I think I can really win this thing,” Buttry thought.

The team started the season 14-3, relying on Buttry’s accurate shooting from deep to help them. He finished the season as a 52 percent 3-point shooter, averaging 23 points per game. They finished the year 26-7. Forbes went to Bowling Green’s 15 home basketball games, all won.

In March, Buttry earned Mr. Basketball honors for Kentucky State.

“This is crazy man,” Forbes sent Buttry. “You really did.”

“You’re next,” Buttry said.

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A week after Bowling Green’s basketball season ended, the baseball team played its first game.

As Forbes did for him, Buttry attended many Forbes home games. And he brought a crowd with him, as many students were set up near left field grilling during the games. At one point in the season, Forbes was leading the state in home runs, in addition to compiling other impressive numbers. He finished the season with 105 runs scored, 99 hits, 15 homers, and a .508 batting average.

In June, a friend of his texted him saying “Congratulations”.

“Why?” Forbes responded.

That’s when his friend sent him a tweet saying he had won Kentucky Mr. Baseball. Although the news was broken to him in an unconventional way, the mission was over.

Not just for Forbes, but also for Buttry. The two made history as the first Kentucky students to bring home Mr. Basketball and Mr. Baseball in the same year for the same school.

“We kind of talked it over,” Buttry said.

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“You would see a lot of growth”

Buttry and Forbes shifted their focus to their college careers.

Buttry hopes to help the EKU Colonels win their conference and enter the NCAA Tournament. , where its 3-point shooting matches a team that attempted the third-most 3s (33.2 per game) in Division I basketball last year.

“It’s what I love doing, and I think it’s going to put me on the court, even as a rookie at this level,” Buttry said.

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Forbes aspires to break into the starting roster as a rookie at the U of L and ultimately become a first-round All-American and MLB pick. It would have been a tough showing four years ago.

“If you had seen me when I was a freshman, you would see a lot of growth,” Forbes said.

Their path to college came through working together. Now on different campuses, they will aim to take this work to the next level.

“A lot of sacrifices were made between me and (Forbes) in high school,” Buttry said. “And I think it was great to see a lot of that sacrifice and hard work pay off.”

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