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Basketball and You


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Hi all,

I don't post on here as much as I did on the older sites. Life, career, kids... most of my engagement here is just reading. That said, I enjoy the banter (sometimes) and the community that has been built and fostered here; this is a nice, cozy little corner of the internet where I think the majority of people care about one another and LOVE basketball.

Which brings me to my question: What does Basketball mean to you? Whether it's the sport itself or its association with Indiana University, what has drawn you to this specific game?

I love stories (I live in LA and it's my job to tell them), so I'm interested in reading about the how/when/why basketball (and/or the Hoosiers) captured your heart. It can be your first introduction to the game or a moment that you witnessed; a player/person you've interacted with or a story you were told when you were younger; whether you played yourself or just enjoyed watching others... anything is open.

I'll share my story a bit later, but I'm genuinely curious and interested in hearing what "hooked" you all.

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15 minutes ago, MoyeCowbell said:

Hi all,

I don't post on here as much as I did on the older sites. Life, career, kids... most of my engagement here is just reading. That said, I enjoy the banter (sometimes) and the community that has been built and fostered here; this is a nice, cozy little corner of the internet where I think the majority of people care about one another and LOVE basketball.

Which brings me to my question: What does Basketball mean to you? Whether it's the sport itself or its association with Indiana University, what has drawn you to this specific game?

I love stories (I live in LA and it's my job to tell them), so I'm interested in reading about the how/when/why basketball (and/or the Hoosiers) captured your heart. It can be your first introduction to the game or a moment that you witnessed; a player/person you've interacted with or a story you were told when you were younger; whether you played yourself or just enjoyed watching others... anything is open.

I'll share my story a bit later, but I'm genuinely curious and interested in hearing what "hooked" you all.

Welcome back MC. You have not gone forgotten. I got hooked as a youngster listening on my transistor radio in my bedroom to IU games on WOWO, out of Fort Wayne.  As no other radio station in NWI carried IU games.  They all had to shut down after dark.

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It started with the mop lady for me in 80-81 season.  I was about 8 years old and remember thinking it was odd that old janitor lady would even care about basketball.  I was enamored by Jim Thomas and Tolbert.  
 

Then came the legend of Alford, the movie Hoosiers, and Bailey, and that was it....nothing could beat Indiana basketball. 
 

and I’m embarrassed to admit how much it means to me at 47!

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29 minutes ago, MoyeCowbell said:

Hi all,

I don't post on here as much as I did on the older sites. Life, career, kids... most of my engagement here is just reading. That said, I enjoy the banter (sometimes) and the community that has been built and fostered here; this is a nice, cozy little corner of the internet where I think the majority of people care about one another and LOVE basketball.

Which brings me to my question: What does Basketball mean to you? Whether it's the sport itself or its association with Indiana University, what has drawn you to this specific game?

I love stories (I live in LA and it's my job to tell them), so I'm interested in reading about the how/when/why basketball (and/or the Hoosiers) captured your heart. It can be your first introduction to the game or a moment that you witnessed; a player/person you've interacted with or a story you were told when you were younger; whether you played yourself or just enjoyed watching others... anything is open.

I'll share my story a bit later, but I'm genuinely curious and interested in hearing what "hooked" you all.

Both sides of family were born/raised in Indy/Carmel dating back to the 1950's. I was born in Chicago in 70's but had Hoosier blood. Heard the stories growing up, all the heroes from local legends Oscar, Shepherd brothers at Carmel...to games at the Wigwam, other legendary gyms, finals, sectionals, etc....basketball was always being talked about. My first real IU/Hoosier moment was Zeke (being a Chicago kid) playing for IU and winning title....followed by the legend of Alford....who I tried to emulate in every way. Even his free throw shooting routine. 

From there I was the only IU fan growing up (surrounded by Illinois/Iowa/Depaul) fans and I don't know the right way to say it but took great pride in being the only IU fan and IU kicking everyone's a-- consistently for years. I designed my grade school basketball plays based on Knight/IU. Hoosier 1, 2, and 3 were the plays being yelled out in a small gym in Northern Illinois on most Saturday mornings. Drove people crazy. Countless other moments but a few that stuck out was IU beating Carolina in 1984. Obviously Smart's shot....Edwards 89 season followed by my 4 years at IU from (91-95) living next door to Calbert in the Villas for 1 of them.

Sorry to jump all over the place. Guess I loved IU my entire life. So many moments. I still get water in the eyes thinking about scenes from Hoosiers and what they mean to me, us, my family,etc....

Fun topic for sure. To answer your original question. IU Hoops is just a part of my DNA/my blood...always has been always will be. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Seeking6 said:

Both sides of family were born/raised in Indy/Carmel dating back to the 1950's. I was born in Chicago in 70's but had Hoosier blood. Heard the stories growing up, all the heroes from local legends Oscar, Shepherd brothers at Carmel...to games at the Wigwam, other legendary gyms, finals, sectionals, etc....basketball was always being talked about. My first real IU/Hoosier moment was Zeke (being a Chicago kid) playing for IU and winning title....followed by the legend of Alford....who I tried to emulate in every way. Even his free throw shooting routine. 

From there I was the only IU fan growing up (surrounded by Illinois/Iowa/Depaul) fans and I don't know the right way to say it but took great pride in being the only IU fan and IU kicking everyone's a-- consistently for years. I designed my grade school basketball plays based on Knight/IU. Hoosier 1, 2, and 3 were the plays being yelled out in a small gym in Northern Illinois on most Saturday mornings. Drove people crazy. Countless other moments but a few that stuck out was IU beating Carolina in 1984. Obviously Smart's shot....Edwards 89 season followed by my 4 years at IU from (91-95) living next door to Calbert in the Villas for 1 of them.

Sorry to jump all over the place. Guess I loved IU my entire life. So many moments. I still get water in the eyes thinking about scenes from Hoosiers and what they mean to me, us, my family,etc....

Fun topic for sure. To answer your original question. IU Hoops is just a part of my DNA/my blood...always has been always will be. 

 

 

A great story. Thanks for sharing.  Your mention of Depaul brings back memories of Ray Meyer.  A great coach.  But even a greater and kinder person.

Ray Meyer 

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My first memories of basketball revolve around my cousin playing for the 1963 Terre Haute Garfield team that went to the state finals...they lost in the semis, but we went to the sectionals, regionals, semi-state, and state finals. I was 5...

Then we moved to Martinsville, where going to Artesian basketball games was the thing to do. I had a season ticket from 2nd grade all the way through my junior year. We moved to Franklin and I had a season ticket there too.

Went to my first IU game in 1963 too, a win against Illinois...I wanted to be Jimmy Rayl...

I think the best thing though, was the bond it made between my Dad and me. I was a teenager/young adult in the 70s and he was a depression era kid. We saw the world very differently, but when IU or the Pacers were playing, my mom and sister left us alone to obsess...Even when I went to the USAF we'd talk hoops when he called...

I carried that forward with my youngest daughter. When we lived in Chicagoland, IU/Northwestern was a can't miss. Went to Evanston every year the Hoosiers played there between 2001 and 2012. Always a huge Hoosier contingent.

It will always be my passion...

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I'll trace my passion back to my dad.  As an impressionable young lad growing up in Clark County the 1970's,, why would this normally sane man carry an 11 inch black and white TV with an antenna wrapped in aluminum foil all around the house trying to find halfway decent reception for Channel 4.  Sometimes he would have to move the TV several times during the game.   If it meant that much to him, I figured it had to be pretty special.  Game night was one of those times you prayed for a northerly wind.  

I was 10 years old in '76, and just becoming a passionate fan.  We celebrated the '81 championship together as much as we could considering the what happened to President  Reagan.  Our last special IU memory together was staying up and watching the tape delay showing of the IU /UNC tournament game in 1984, which we did not get live (don't remember why, but probably a UK or UL conflict since we were in the Louisville TV area).  Dad passed unexpectedly that summer.  I always wondered how much he would have enjoyed seeing those '83-'84 freshmen bring another championship to the Hoosiers in '87 and, a few years later, what he would have thought about Knight recruiting Damon in 8th grade.

That's my story.  Now, my own son is probably even more passionate than I am.  I just wish the Hoosiers could duplicate some of the success I experienced in my youth so his fan experience could match mine.

 

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55 minutes ago, IUFLA said:

My first memories of basketball revolve around my cousin playing for the 1963 Terre Haute Garfield team that went to the state finals...they lost in the semis, but we went to the sectionals, regionals, semi-state, and state finals. I was 5...

 

Ah yes. Garfield was a power. Back in the day. With some of the greatest Indiana prep ballers of all time.

 Terre Haute Garfield best players in history

Garfield alumni plan new memorial 

Edited by milehiiu
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3 hours ago, Seeking6 said:

Always funny about Depaul. People forget how dominate they were....of course the cash was flowing but still. Phenomenal teams.

They were dominate in the regulars season but not the tournament because they lost as a 1 seed in their firs tournament game 3 years in a row.

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I have loved basketball all of my life and played it from the time I can remember.  it mainly came from my only brother who was 9 years older than me.  I can remember hanging around him and his friends and they would allow me to play with them even though I was so much younger.  My brother also was an IU fan and we would watch every game on TV and I can barely remember the 75-76 team.  I remember watching games on the local channel 4 here in Indy and loved the mop lady singing the IU fight song.  Also remember the state Farm commercials before the games as well.  I remember the 81 really well and remember the day of the championship game when president Reagan was shot and did not know if they would even play the game.

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10 minutes ago, IU Scott said:

They were dominate in the regulars season but not the tournament because they lost as a 1 seed in their firs tournament game 3 years in a row.

No argument there. 79-6 during those 3 years and lost each time in tourney. Even 40 years later people never forget tourney success or lack of. 

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11 minutes ago, Seeking6 said:

No argument there. 79-6 during those 3 years and lost each time in tourney. Even 40 years later people never forget tourney success or lack of. 

The other day I was bored and looked at the tournament brackets for the tournament for every from 80 to the present.  I saw that Depaul lost those 3 straight years as a 1 seed after they had a bye.

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I look at a player like Garza who has one year left and does not appear he will get drafted.  If he comes back they could win the conference title and be able to make a deep run in the tournament.  If he does that then he could become a legend in Iowa and probably be able to get anything he want in the future.  To me that would be so more appealing than going early and playing in the G-league or playing over seas/

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4 hours ago, milehiiu said:

Ah yes. Garfield was a power. Back in the day. With some of the greatest Indiana prep ballers of all time.

 Terre Haute Garfield best players in history

Garfield alumni plan new memorial 

Greg Samuels (noted in the "best players" article you cited) was on that team and won the Trester Award that year. I thought my cousin got gyped 😀...

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was 8 and from Mt. Carmel, Ill, my mom married a man from Vincennes, Indiana who loved Coach Knight and IU basketball. The 81 Title team was my first exposure to IU. I’ve been in Alabama the last 25 years, but I’m still as diehard as I was in Indiana. My wife and daughter rarely watch games with me, as I comment on the game a lot. RMK got fired on my daughter’s 6th birthday. I cried when I saw that and called my dad(stepdad). He cheered me up enough for my daughter’s bday, but that was a weird day! Anyway, I bleed cream and crimson!! I love you all, this board has become family to me, though I don’t post a ton! Hope y’all are safe and sound!!

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9 hours ago, Hoosrnight said:

I was 8 and from Mt. Carmel, Ill, my mom married a man from Vincennes, Indiana who loved Coach Knight and IU basketball. The 81 Title team was my first exposure to IU. I’ve been in Alabama the last 25 years, but I’m still as diehard as I was in Indiana. My wife and daughter rarely watch games with me, as I comment on the game a lot. RMK got fired on my daughter’s 6th birthday. I cried when I saw that and called my dad(stepdad). He cheered me up enough for my daughter’s bday, but that was a weird day! Anyway, I bleed cream and crimson!! I love you all, this board has become family to me, though I don’t post a ton! Hope y’all are safe and sound!!

Great story.  Thanks for sharing. Proof that an IU fan does not have to live in Indiana to still bleed Cream and Crimson. Your kind words about Hoosier Sports Nation, being family to you, mean a ton to me.

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Thanks to @MoyeCowbellfor starting this thread and with a great OP. 

And what a great question, what does basketball mean to us? I mean, that goes deep, what is it about this sport that grabs us?

I guess basketball is just in my blood. When you grow up in a basketball state, on a basketball school campus, with everyone playing it, and the entire town focused on its college team and at the time under the growing legend of Knight, it just gets into your blood.

I moved to Bloomington as a 6-year old, and was 10 (hey, just like Fouls) in '76 -- it had to start there. I remember this small town gone crazy, saw these older guys (students) running all over the place everywhere jumping and shouting, saw a group of guys pick up a VW Bug and turn it on its side. A 10-year old's view -- what is this craziness?

So I moved there from the northeast and was a hockey kid. That was my sport, with soccer.

But basketball was everyday from the time I was a little kid -- hoop up over my garage, along with all my friends -- and I've lived lots of other places since and have never seen so many hoops up, on garages, on the sides of barns, in driveways -- playing pickup all the time after school and on weekends, going to the HPER building to play and seeing IU players show up randomly, going to IU games in the Hall -- 17,000 packed --  just the noise of the Hall, the energy, the early days of Knight, and the red white and blue basketball I had for the ABA, and then I Thomas and the '81 team while I was in high school, and then winning the NC while I was at IU -- there is absolutely nothing like winning a NC in basketball at IU, that night of running out of the Student Union into the crowd covering every bit of ground and people in trees and the fish from Showalter Fountain getting carried over our heads, nothing like it. 

And later becoming a Pacers fan watching this skinny brash kid out of Cali lighting it up from all over the court, Reggie, picked over Alford, became my favorite player. Basketball has always been there, it's life blood.

 

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8 hours ago, milehiiu said:

Great story.  Thanks for sharing. Proof that an IU fan does not have to live in Indiana to still bleed Cream and Crimson. Your kind words about Hoosier Sports Nation, being family to you, mean a ton to me.

Thanks mile!! I’ve been through all the HSN movement. This board has become a part of my life, and though, I’ll probably never meet any of you I feel like I know you all! Another great thing about sports, it’s bring people of all different backgrounds, political persuasions, races, and places together! Here, no matter how frustrating some members can be, we are still one strange and crazy family!

Edited by Hoosrnight
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It started by listening to my family sit around cussing and discussing High School basketball, exactly like they did in the barbershop in the movie Hoosiers.  That scene gave me chills the first time I saw it.  Shortly after that Rick Mount came along.  He was unstoppable.  Then Purdue goes to the Final Four against UCLA and I'm then informed that John Wooden is from where I am.  Now I'm torn.  UCLA became a favorite then.  

Thankfully, I had an uncle from Monroe county who saved me from my waywardness.  Took me to the fieldhouse for my first IU game in 1969 and I never looked back.  

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I had always been interested in basketball would always watch the games on TV. I liked watching the women's game particularly watching either Tennessee and UCONN playing each other in the finals. I the chance to be a manager when I was in high school and I really liked it we won the sectionals my sophomore year and the last time the team got to the state finals was 2004. We had probably about the best player come out of the school and had the chance to watch her play professionally when she played for the Fever.

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19 hours ago, CincyHoosier said:

Warsaw, IN.  Al Rhodes.  Talent + Skill + Attitude = Basketball player.  Tiger basketball camps growing up left a strong impression.  He was also a pretty darn good math teacher.

I remember al Rhodes, I played in the Fort Wayne area so we never played Warsaw, but his name was known.  Didn’t he coach a guy named Jeff gross who was really good?  It sounds like al would have thought of me as a baller if only I had talent and skill 😂

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