Sunday, July 27, 2014
In a 1951 locker room Coach Norman Dale is repeating the simple game plan to his young Hickory Huskers, "how many passes are we going to make before we shoot?" "Four," comes the response. Then up the stairs they go, the door swinging open to the sounds of pep band music & cheers. If you've come this far on our hardwood journey, you most likely know the rest of the film "Hoosiers." Maybe, like many others, you've asked, "have you been to Knightstown? What about New Castle?" Until last week the answer to both was no, not yet. New Castle's appeal is size (the largest high school gym in the world) and Knightstown - hopefully more than a credit line. But the time seemed right, so on a perfect midsummer day we headed north and to our surprise found an old gym (built in 1922 and refurbished in 1936 with WPA funds) full of life. There are souvenirs for sale, tourists from all points guided by celluloid memories, but every day a group of Knightstown boys (current & former Panthers) meet to play ball. And play ball. Subbing players in and out, the games go on - 4, 5, 6 hours a day. They take breaks for water and let visitors snap photos of the gym, but then it's back to work. Watching is hypnotic - old wood echoing the rhythmic pounding of the ball. And like an endless reel, Gene Hackman's voice whispering, "welcome to Indiana basketball." CGS.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Pirate basketball has a long & storied history - 39 Sectional crowns, 8 Regionals and 2 State titles. Thankfully that history has been preserved not only in record books & trophy cases but in their gyms. The old high school now serves as a training ground for middle school players, while the Armory opens its doors to ball handlers long past their prime. CGS.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Delayed by early summer commitments, re-construction has begun again at Comer's Barn. Mark's ability to recruit workers with the promise of a "job well done" and a cold beer continues to amaze. But like me, all the 'players' involved seem to be drawn to this magical (& possibly crazy) project and all that it promises. CGS.