Butler honoring real life team that inspired “Hoosiers” at next home game

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hinkle fieldhouse-hoosiers

The 1988 film “Hoosiers” is the greatest basketball movie of all time. The protagonists of the film, fictional Hickory High, were based on true events known as the 1954 Milan Miracle. There was a real life team from a tiny Indiana town which upset one of the state’s biggest powerhouses. Obviously, Gene Hackman and company took some artistic license with the story, but that’s fine. Butler’s home court, the Hinkle Fieldhouse was as much of a star in the film as Hackman.

And on Sunday, some real life Hoosiers are being honored. Not Indiana Hoosiers, but the real thing.

butler bulldogs-hoosiers

Some of the surviving Milan basketball team, true Hoosiers, will be honored at Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse during the Feb. 23 game versus Providence.

Scheduled to attend are:
Bobby Plump
Ray Craft
Rollin Cutter
Roger Shroder
Mary Lou Wood (wife of coach Marvin Wood)

Likely to attend:
Gene White

hinkle fieldhouse hoosiers

In 2010, the Washington Times sent me to cover the Final Four in Indianapolis. Butler reached the national title game that year.

This obviously, led to a high number of media to go visit the Fieldhouse from the famous film. As you can see from these pictures, I was one of those tourists. Butler has fallen a long way this season, their first year in the new Big East conference. The Bulldogs really do miss Brad Stevens, as they’re tied for last place with DePaul at 2-11. It’s a far cry from the Butler team which went to back-to-back national title games under Stevens in 2010 and 2011.

butler court-hoosiers

hinkle fieldhouse-hoosiers

They certainly won’t be favored against NCAA Tournament bubble team Providence. Maybe the appearance of these real life Hoosiers will propel them to an improbable upset victory. This court has seen such things before.

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBCCBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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