A longtime Bethel head coach and North Judson's all-time leading scorer have been chosen for induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame board of directors has announced the 61st induction class, to be honored in ceremonies on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
Mike Lightfoot is the recipient of the 2023 Silver Medal Award for contributions to Indiana basketball other than as an Indiana high school player or Indiana high school coach.
30 years as head men’s basketball coach at Bethel College (1987-2017), he led the Pilots to 794 wins, his teams won three NAIA national championships, four NCCAA national championships, two national runner-up finishes, 10 Crossroads League regular season championships and eight Crossroads League tournament championships. He won nine National Coach of the Year and six League Coach of the Year awards.
Lightfoot coached the Pilots to 36 all-time No. 1 rankings, the most in NAIA Division II history, and holds the second-longest streak of being ranked in Division II poll history, a streak of 76 consecutive polls from 1992-2000.
Lightfoot was the quickest NAIA men’s coach to reach 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 career wins. He was an all-state player at LaVille H.S., played at Bethel for Homer Drew and was nominated for the Pete Maravich Award his senior year. He coached at Mishawaka Marian H.S. from 1978-1987. He is an inductee of the Bethel College, NCCAA, Marian H.S. and NAIA Halls of Fames.
Lightfoot graduated from LaVille High School in 1974.
Kirk Manns, a 1986 graduate of North Judson High School, earned four letters in basketball, baseball, and football. As a senior, Manns averaged 34.2 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game, and 4.1 assists per game on the Blue Jays team that went 18-6. He was All-State in both basketball and football, scoring 1,962 career points.
Manns was an Indiana All-Star and runner-up for Mr. Basketball, along with being named to the 2011 Silver Anniversary Team.
Manns played basketball at Michigan State University where he scored 1,212 career points, making 8 three point field goals twice in a game, and scored a career high of 40 points in a win over Purdue. As a senior, he was named the Most Improved player.
After graduating from Michigan State in 1991, Manns was Assistant Coach at Western Michigan, before becoming a high school principal and athletic director. Manns is presently the athletic director and head boys basketball coach at Seymour High School.
Also part of the 61st induction class to the Indiana Basketball HOF:
James Blackmon Sr. was a 1983 McDonald’s All-American, averaging 32.6 points per game as a senior on the Marion squad who went 22-6, losing to Anderson in the afternoon game of the State Finals, where he scored 52 points. Other accolades for Blackman Sr. included being a Parade All-American, Scholastic Coach All-American, USA Today All-American and named Runner-up to Steve Alford for Mr. Basketball. He went to the University of Kentucky (1983-87) where he was named a Captain and Outstanding Senior his senior season. He began his coaching career in 1995 as a JV Coach at Marion but later coached Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers to the 2A 2007 and 2008 State Champions and is currently the head coach at Marion High School where they were crowned 3A State Champions in 2016. His career coaching record is 284-150, and since 2013, in addition to coaching, has been the High School Dean/Conflict Mediator at Marion High School.
Richard Butt graduated from Huntington High School in 1954, then later graduated from Manchester in 1958 with a B.S. in Business, Ball State in 1963 with a Masters in Health and Physical Education, and St. Francis in 1966 with a Guidance License. Beginning his coaching career in 1958, he spent one year as the Liberty Center JH coach before being promoted to head coach at Liberty Center from 1959-1964. He amassed a 70-40 record at Liberty Center, leading them to a county title and the 1964 Sectional title with only 67 students. He later went on to lead Lakeland from 1964-1973 where he won 3 sectional titles. In 1983, he was one of 5 Indiana coaches chosen by the International Sports Exchange to conduct basketball clinics in Africa – Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Niger.
The late Henry Chapman, along with Charlie Lyons, were the first two African Americans to play varsity basketball at Ft. Wayne Northside. Throughout his career at Ft. Wayne Northside, Chapman earned All City honors (3x), along with scoring 1,124 points in his career. Chapman’s team played in the State Finals against Gary Roosevelt in the afternoon game, but lost 68-66. It should be noted that he acquired frostbite on his shooting hand, as a result of changing a flat tire in sub-zero temperature the night before the game. Chapman was the first Allen County player to exceed 1,000 points. He also excelled in cross country and track. During his time after high school Chapman barnstormed with and against the Harlem Globetrotters. Chapman worked for International Harvester for 31 years, and in 2015 was inducted into the Inaugural Class of the Ft. Wayne North Side Athletic Hall of Fame.
The late John DeVoe banded together with several other prominent business men of the area to help purchase an ABA team, who would soon be named the Indiana Pacers. DeVoe was the first President of the Indiana Pacers, as well. He graduated from Park School in 1952 where, as a senior, his team went 18-4, he was team captain, and scored 73 points in a game that season. DeVoe graduated from Princeton in 1956 with a B.A. in English literature and was a 3 year letter winner. He was named Captain and MVP as a senior, before joining the Army Artillery in 1957 and the reserves until 1965.
The late Henry Ebershoff was a 1963 Lafayette Central Catholic graduate, who was a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s Silver Anniversary team in 1988 recording seven games of scoring 30 or more points and holding the school record with 25 consecutive free throws made. Ebershoff’s free throw percentage as a junior was 86.3%, which is also a school record. He was a school MVP in both football and basketball, before graduating from Purdue in 1967 with a B.A. in physical education. Playing for George King at Purdue, Ebershoff averaged 15 points per game as a senior, earning 2nd team All-Big Ten honors and averaging 4.6 assists per game. Until his passing, he owned and operated Lafayette Tent and Awning Company, beginning in 1969.
Brian Evans averaged 22.5 points his senior year in 1991 at Terre Haute South along with being named first team All-State, an Indiana All-Star and National Runner-up in AAU on Team Indiana. In 1991, Evans and Terre Haute South went 23-4. Evans was a member of the 1996 Silver Anniversary Team. After graduating from Terre Haute South, Evans went to Indiana University where he scored 1,701 career points for Coach Bob Knight’s Hoosiers. He was Big Ten Player of the Year in 1996 and third team All American by AP, NABC and UPI. Evans was a first round pick of the Orlando Magic, #27 overall. Evans played professionally in the NBA and overseas from 1996-2005. Evans is currently the owner of Precision Medical Group along with co-founder of CareCycle.
Oscar Evans, from Shortridge High School,was the first underclassman to play varsity basketball. As a junior, he averaged 16 points per game, and his senior year averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game. Before graduating from Shortridge in 1968, Evans was named 1st Team All Sectional, Regional, and All-State, along with being named 3rd Team All-State in baseball as well. He led the Final 4 in scoring his senior season, along with being the high scorer in school history. Evans went on to play at Vincennes from 1968-1970 where he averaged 27 points per game as a freshman, and 13 points and 12 assists per game as a sophomore. During Evans’ sophomore season, Vincennes was the National Junior College Champions and Evans was rated by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 6 guards coming out of Junior College. Evans graduated from Butler in 1972 with a degree in management.
Darrin Fitzgerald was the second leading scorer in the City of Indianapolis his senior year at Indianapolis Washington in 1983 averaging 22 points per game. He was All-Metro, All-State Honorable Mention and team MVP. Fitzgerald also was an All-State defensive back in football in 1982. After his time at Indianapolis Washington, Fitzgerald went on to Butler where he graduated in 1987. Fitzgerald holds Butler’s all time single game scoring record with 54 points and 12 three point field goals made, and is 3rd all time in career scoring. Seventh all time in career assists, Fitzgerald is inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame, and later worked at Chrysler Corporation from 1989-2009.
Dennis Goins played for Coach Larry Angle and was a member of the 2004 Silver Anniversary Team. Goins graduated from Rushville in 1979 where as a freshman, he started for the Lions’ state runner up team. During his senior year, the Lions went 17-9 and Goins averaged 13 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds a game, earning All Sectional, Regional, All-Conference honors and was named an Indiana All-Star. Goins’ 1,080 points is fourth all time in Rushville History and his 539 assists is first on the list. He was also a four year starter on Rushville’s football team; where he was All-State his senior season. He played at Vincennes from 1979-1981 and Southern Illinois from 1981-1983. Goins was an award winning TV sports photographer covering numerous high profile events. He is a current teacher at Ben Davis High School/Area 31 Career Center and Director of BDTV.
The late Ken Gunning graduated from Shelbyville in 1933 and was a 3 year letter winner in basketball, baseball, and track where he earned the Paul Cross Award (MVP) for basketball his senior season. Gunning went on to Indiana University where he led the team in scoring his sophomore year with 8.4 points per game, 9.2 points per game his junior year, and 8.6 points his senior season. Gunning was a senior captain along with being named 2nd Team All-American. At Indiana, Gunning also lettered in baseball and track. Gunning played for the Whiting Ciesar All-Americans, Moline Plow Boys, and the Indianapolis Kautskys. He went on to coach at Western New Mexico, and Wichita State, before coaching at Connersville High School. Gunning was inducted into the Western New Mexico Hall of Fame.
Jack Hogan, “Broad Ripple’s Pocket Rocket”, graduated from Broad Ripple in 1963 where he averaged 12 points per game, going 21-6 where his team defeated the likes of Warren Central, North Central, Cathedral, Tech, Danville, Southport and Connersville during the tournament run; eventually losing to state Champion Muncie Central. Hogan was named Outstanding Senior Athlete along with All-Sectional and All-Regional. Hogan was also a member of Broad Ripple’s baseball and cross country teams. Hogan went on to have a great career at DePauw University, where as a senior, he was named to Time Magazine’s best college players in the U.S. under 6 foot. Named “Jack the Giant Killer”, Hogan led DePauw to victories against many Division I teams including Evansville, Indiana State, and Butler. Hogan went on to be a standout tennis player, and was in real estate until his retirement in 2019.
Eric Montross¸ a former Lawrence North Wildcat, North Carolina Tar Heel, and NBA player, is currently a commentator on the Tar Heel Sports Network. Montross graduated from Lawrence North in 1990 where his junior year, he averaged 21.3 points per game on the State Championship team, where he was named MVP. His senior year, Montross was an All-American on the Parade and McDonald’s All-American teams. In addition, he was an Indiana All-Star, National Player of the Year, National Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and USA Today’s 1st Team All American. Montross went on to North Carolina where his junior year, the Tar Heels were NCAA National Champions, a year where he averaged 15.8 points per game. His senior year accolades included Naismith All-American, John R. Wooden All-American, and Academic All-American, just to name a few. Montross played in the NBA from 1994-2003. He has been on the Tar Heel Sports Network since 2005.
Drake Morris was the 1977 Mr. Basketball Runner-Up, Hammond Times Player of the Year, 1st Team All-State, a McDonald’s All American and a member of the 2002 Silver Anniversary Team. During his senior season, in which his team went 24-4, Morris averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals per game. He scored 51 points during that year against Hammond High School, and also had a game with 25 rebounds. Morris went on to play at Purdue where in 1981, he was named All-Big Ten. At Purdue, he scored 1,250 points and led his squad to the NIT Final game his senior season. He played in Italy for 3 years averaging 35 points per game. Morris is in the East Chicago Hall of Fame. Morris has been a salesman, Director of Parks Services and owner of a cleaning company, and currently, he is a caseworker for the Lake County Prosecutor.
The late Jim Oler graduated from Economy High School in 1952 where he scored 1,260 career points, even with a shortened junior season due to an ankle injury. He was an All-Sectional honoree, while winning the sportsmanship award and Wayne County Championship. After leaving Economy, he went to Florida State where he received his bachelors and masters degrees, and played basketball. Oler held the Florida State record for 39 years for most career points (1,817), but is still second on that list. He scored a career high 42 points and still holds the single season scoring record with 29.7 points per game. In addition, Oler has numerous free throw records that still stand at Florida State. Oler went on to Coach McArthur High School and Brevard Community College, being inducted into the Florida Community College Hall of Fame.
The late Phil Snodgress of Kennard High School, was a three-sport athlete (basketball, baseball, and track), while graduating in 1954. After graduation from Kennard, Snodgress, played baseball for four years at Ball State earning a bachelors and masters in education. After Ball State, Snodgress went on to coach at Blue River Valley, Liberty, and Union County, before a 22-year stint in Greensburg. Snodgress has a career record of 350-221 while earning accolades such as: 1974 IBCA Coach Of The Year, 1999 Virgil Sweet Service Award, and inducted in 2008 into the Union County Athletic Hall of Fame. Overall, Snodgress has 11 Sectional and 1 Regional title. After he retired, he was asked to coach an 8th grade team, and did so until 2005.
Brad Stevens is a 1995 graduate of Zionsville High School where he holds the school record in points (1,508), steals (157), and 3 point field goals made (138). He averaged 26.8 points per game as a senior, while earning Star & News All-Metro, 3 time All-Conference, 1st Team Academic All-State, and 1995 Sectional MVP. Stevens went on to DePauw University where he was a 3 time Academic All-American. Stevens worked at Eli Lilly for one year before joining Thad Matta’s staff at Butler. He was a Butler assistant coach until 2007, becoming Butler’s Head Coach. Stevens coached the Bulldogs until the 2013-14 season (his record at Butler was 166-49), before becoming the Boston Celtics Head Coach. Stevens remained the head coach of the Celtics before moving into the front office in 2021 – a position he still holds today.
The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 61st Men’s Awards Banquet is planned for Wednesday, March 22, 2023. The day’s events will include a reception at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame museum in New Castle that afternoon with a banquet that evening at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.
Reservations will soon be available online or through mail order in early 2023. Call the Hall at 765-529-1891, visit www.hoopshall.com or email email@example.com for more information.