Some coaches criticized Manchester basketball coach Bernie Conley when he decided to start 14-year old freshman Mike Phillips on the varsity squad. Maybe it was just envy. That first season Phillips averaged 21 points to lead the Suburban League in scoring. Three years later, the 6-11, 245 pound Phillips led the Panthers to a 26-0 season and the 1974 Ohio AA Championship. During his four seasons at Manchester three were few records he didn’t break, including Jerry Lucas’ Ohio prep scoring mark of 2,460 points at Middleton High . Phillips netted 2,573 points and twice was selected first player to repeat that honor. Some people criticized Phillips’ decision to play basketball at the University of Kentucky. That was just too big a jump. Wrong again! Phillips played four years for the Wildcats and became one of their top all-time scorers with 1,367 points. He was a reserve on the 1975 NCAA runner-up squad, but stared on UK’s 1976 NIT championship team, the 1977 NCAA East Regional finalist squad before helping the Wildcats with the 1978 National title. Phillips was drafted by the New Jersey Nets but couldn’t quite make it in the NBA, however, he did play pro ball in Spain for 13 years. While with Barcelona, this Akron native helped his team capture the 1981 championship at Spain and finish runner-up in the European Cup. And in 1986 Phillips was voted MVP in the Spanish League.