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The Golden Age of Indiana High School Basketball


The years 1945--1959 marked the time when basketball truly became the sport of Indiana. High school basketball bound together communities across the state and interest in the sport rose to a new level. The period saw the Milan/Muncie Central game, given new fame through the movie Hoosiers. It also saw the first televised game, the start of the career of Oscar Robertson (who played for Crispus Attucks), and friendly town rivalries to build the state's biggest gymnasium. It was a time before the massive consolidations of the 1960s and '70s, with more than 700 teams involved in basketball tournaments. (There are some 300 now.)

Greg Guffey captures the flavor of the period and showcases many of the best teams, players, and coaches. This is a book for all fans of Indiana basketball.

Product Details

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments Introduction 1. The Beginning: "It was every player's dream to be on the varsity team. That's all we thought about." 2. "You just forget everything and play by instinct." 3. "If you weren't at the ballgame, you were either dead or sick." 4. "It was a knock-down, drag-out affair each time we played." 5. "Being a senior, it was like the world had come to an end." 6. "We're an old river town with a lot of pride." 7. "You fought like crazy against them, but you were friends when it was over." 8. "The idea one guy can't get you there is wrong." 9. "Once we got past Muncie, I thought we could beat the world." 10. "The sectional was the big thing. That was what gave you the bragging rights." 11. "Very few small towns... are known like this small town." 12. "Oscar made the difference." 13. "We didn't beat them with a bunch of ham-and-eggers." 14. "I hear you are a pretty good player. If you've got anything, I'll get it out of you." 15. "He looked like a toothpick, but he could shoot." Epilogue Appendix Recommended Reading Index

About the Author

Greg Guffey, Director of Publications and Technology for the Indiana House of Representatives, is author of More than a Game, a history of basketball in Henry County, Indiana, and The Greatest Basketball Story Ever Told: The Milan Miracle, 50th Anniversary Edition (IUP, 2003). He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.


"From the smallest towns to our capital city, The Golden Age of Indiana High School Basketball captures what basketball meant to Hoosier players and fans in the '40s and '50s. All fans should take this nostalgic journey through a simpler time when basketball was king." -Steve Alford "The reason this book will be a hit, is that it's one of the first books to really explain what the game really means to Hoosiers.-Bob Adams, Berne Tr" -Weekly News

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