‘He was a legend’: KC high school basketball coach honored after death

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Loved ones and former players came together Monday night to honor a Kansas City basketball coaching legend who recently died.

Jack Bush amassed nearly 800 wins in his high school coaching career.

About two dozen people said goodbye with a balloon release at Central High School, where he coached for 33 years.

“It does your heart good,” said his son, Jack Bush, Jr. “Dad touched a lot of people’s lives.”

Aaron Frazier organized the tribute.

“Some people didn’t have fathers,” Frazier said. “Coach Bush was there to make that they got through high school.”

On the court, Bush is remembered as the ‘Dean of High School Basketball’ and a Missouri sports hall of fame inductee.

He coached at R.T Coles Vocational School, and later, Manual High School.

But, at Central, he led the team to a dozen final four appearances in the state tournament and a state title in 1979.

Still, former players say it’s what he meant to them off the court that means even more than the titles and accolades amassed in a 52-year career.

“He was always there for everyone, one of the most popular coaches ever to coach in Missouri,” said former player Darryl Bush.

“He was a legend, man,” added former player Thomas Jenkins. “He was the person that was a father figure, because my father worked two jobs. So, Bush was always there and he had me under his wing, and I played my heart out for him.

Coach Bush retired in 2001. He passed away November 20 at the age of 96.

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