28 May 2013

Indiana's Basketball Hall of Fame


My son loves sports.  Any sport.  And he astonishes even the most savvy of sports fanatics with the stats and depth of information he has going back decades for most organized events.  One time while we were having dinner out (mom was gone) my daughter and I started quizzing him on who won what Superbowl in any random year, to which he would add the score and mvp to his response.

The table next to us got very quiet, then started to stare in wide-eyed wonder.  I'm thinking we may try to get him on Letterman.


At any rate, his Christmas gifts included a couple of tickets to the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame.  Did you know that we're the only state with such a thing?  I know, hard to believe right?  As other states think "you have what?"

Honestly, I wasn't sure what we'd find when we visited over spring break.  I knew it was a new building so the idea of it being crammed into a less-than-functional or inappropriate facility didn't exist.  How I hoped it would have been in a historic gym!  Regardless, the facility-spectacular.  The displays-very well done.  I always set my expectations pretty low when it comes to these kinds of venues.  But let me be clear.....I was impressed and highly recommend it for anyone.

Walking the memorial terrace in front of the Hall
Basketball was introduced to Hoosiers by a minister from Massachusetts who was relocated to a congregation in Crawfordsville in the early 1900s.  Consequently, when the sport became popular and early state tournaments were held-that region seemed to excel in wins.  Pieces of the gymnasium where the game was first played are behind glass at the hall of fame.

Pieces of the building where the first game of basketball was played in Indiana
There were plenty of references to Milan and other David and Goliath stories from pre-class basketball Indiana, including River City's own state title.  I was amazed to see the ranking my dad's high school had during the late 1940s through the 1950s....including a large "best of county" trophy for the LaPaz Vikings, representing a town of a few hundred folks.


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