If 112 years of state high school basketball tournaments have proven anything, it’s that unbelievable moments and legacies can’t possibly be in short supply.
This being Indiana, they aren’t.
Now, thanks to Hoosier Historia, residents can vote for the top moments, players and deafening postseason environments that through the generations have gradually constructed our collective passion for high school hoops that is recognized globally.
Hoosier Historia is one of the many elements associated with Indianapolis hosting the 2024 NBA All-Star game next February.
Votes can be cast on pacers.com/HoosierHistoria.
The website offers a total of 50 selections; the final 24 will be made into the type of eye-catching artwork to be on display once the All-Star game gets closer. This is being done through a partnership with the Indy Arts Council and the Capital Improvement Board.
“Fans are going to pick out what 24 stories turn to art. It’s significant because these are things that are going to be on display All-Star weekend,” said Danny Lopez, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications at Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “After All-Star Weekend, they’ll live in the convention center, or some of them will go back to their own hometowns.
“This is something that in a state like ours, it seemed like a logical way to get people excited about what’s to come, and what that weekend will look like visually.”
The 50 options were selected by the 15-person Hoosier Historia Subcommittee comprised of former coaches, referees, players and longtime journalists, the latter having spent decades covering the boys and girls tournaments.
The final 24 selections will be announced on March 24, prior to the IHSAA Boys Basketball State Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
At that point, the Indy Arts Council will solicit concepts from artists across Indiana who will paint their interpretations of these players, places and moments on six-foot tall basketball sculptures to be displayed in downtown Indianapolis.
Maybe it’s the Milan Miracle that gets your vote, or the legendary game that wouldn’t end (Swayzee’s nine-overtime victory over Liberty Center). Then again, the filming of “Hoosiers” or the Damon-led Bedford North Lawrence Stars winning state in front of 41,046 spectators inside the now-extinct Hoosier Dome are more your preference.
The state’s legendary high school gymnasiums are also included, deservedly so. Also among the options is the state’s controversial transition from a one-class system to four classes, a process that, in many ways, divided supporters of the sport in the middle- and late 1990s.
Add it all together, and it’s uniquely Indiana.
“I thought it was great that the (Indiana) Pacers started this,” said Matt Martin, Executive Director of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. “I thought it was real neat to focus on high school basketball. It’s what makes Indiana … Indiana. Nobody has the basketball we do, and it starts at the high school level.
“And the stories seem to continue. They live on because that connection is always there.”