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Clarence "Big House" Gaines Monument


On August 7, 2017, the Clarence "Big House" Gaines monument was unveiled at Robert Coleman Park. The monument was designed to reflect Gaines' monumental contributions as a coach, leader, athlete, and humanitarian and to display his many accolades as an inspiration for generations to come. Gaines (1923-2005), a Paducah native, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He was the first African American coach inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. On a related note, the NAACP began spearheading an action in 2014 to rename South 7th Street to Clarence "Big House" Gaines Avenue in his honor. His family expressed a preference for South 7th because of its rich history regarding African American business and commerce including the nearby Hotel Metropolitan which Gaines owned for years. The street was renamed in 2015.