“Welcome to Indiana basketball.” – Coach Norman Dale in Hoosiers
Indiana high school basketball is a big deal. The state has a rich history of the sport, and the games provide excitement and a gathering place for Indiana’s communities. The regular season runs from November to February, and the playoffs start in March.
The movie Hoosiers depicts the passion of Indiana basketball with a classic underdog story about a small-town high school basketball team, the Hickory Huskers, who make an improbable run to the state championship. The film was released in 1986 and was a success. It has since become a beloved classic, and its legacy inspires people worldwide. The Associated Press listed it as number one on its list of “Greatest Sports Movie Ever Made.”
Hoosiers shares a message of hope and perseverance, showing how even the smallest towns can produce great things and how anything is possible. This message has resonated with audiences for generations and motivates people to achieve their goals.
It’s this enduring message that brings thousands of people to Henry County, Indiana’s Hoosier Gym. The gym was a primary filming location for Hoosiers and has been lovingly restored and maintained by a team of dedicated volunteers.
Experience The Hoosier Gym
The Hoosier Gym, located in Knightstown, Indiana, is a must-see for fans of the movie, basketball players and fans, and history buffs. The historic gym is still used today by local high school basketball teams for special tournaments including the Hoosier Classic. The facility also hosts private events and tours. It is a small, intimate venue with walls covered in memorabilia from the movie, and the court is even the same one used in the filming.
The gym is a great place to experience the magic of the movie and learn about the history of Indiana high school basketball. The gym is open to the public during the week and Saturdays. Visitors can tour the gym, see the historic facilities, sit in the bleachers, take a “granny shot,” and visit the gift shop. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Hitting The Road With The Hoosier Bus and Gene Hackman Car
The Hoosier Bus and Gene Hackman’s ’51 Chevy are two iconic symbols in the movie Hoosiers. The bus was used to transport the Hickory Huskers to their games, and the 1951 Chevy was driven by Gene Hackman’s character, Coach Norman Dale. These two vehicles, while are not permanently located at the Hoosier Gym, frequently visit the venue for special events.
The 1951 Chevy Deluxe was used in filming Hoosiers and now participates in events and car shows. The car, now owned by Bob Brown, is in excellent condition and is a popular photo op for movie fans.
The Hickory Husker Bus was initially used as a school bus in Lebanon and Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1939 to 1949. It was used in the filming of the movie Hoosiers in 1985 and 1986. The bus, now owned by Darryll Baker, has been restored over the years and now participates in car shows, parades, and other events.
While You’re Here, Visit The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame is a museum in New Castle dedicated to Indiana basketball history. The 14,000-square-foot museum has over 900 inductees, including players, coaches, officials, and contributors. The museum also has a collection of artifacts from the history of basketball, interactive exhibits, special dedicated sections, an enshrinement hall, and a gift shop.
“Hoosier Hysteria” is a term used to describe the passion for basketball in Indiana. It is evident in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, which houses game files for more than 1,000 high schools, the 6,000 engraved brick courtyard of “Indiana’s Game” honorees, and the “Only in Indiana” exhibit.
If you are a sports enthusiast, a fan of the movie Hoosiers, or just someone who needs motivation to achieve your goals, visit Henry County and check out the Hoosier Gym and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. These locations are popular tourist destinations and are great places to experience the magic of Hoosiers.
-Article by Jamie Ward, Travel Writer, Cornfields & High Heels