The Greatest Basketball Story Ever Told

By Greg Guffey



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The 1954 Indiana State Championship Milan High School basketball team provided the inspiration for the 1986 movie Hoosiers.  Greg Guffey tells their story.  He starts with the current state of the town and how it is dying and how the high school team went winless at the time the book was written.  He tells of how the town hasn't changed with the times and seems stuck riding the high of the 1954 state championship. 

After the introduction, he then tells the story of the 1953 and 1954 teams that brought so much glory to this small town.  The movie was only very loosely based on reality, as Milan actually made the state quarterfinals in 1953.

After he explains the immediate aftermath, he devotes a chapter for each of the 10 players and the coach from that team.  He tells what they are doing now and how growing up in Milan and playing on that team has affected their lives.

He wraps up the story going back to the current status of the town and Indiana high school basketball, along with a section about New Richmond, Indiana, where the movie was shot.  It was a great time capsule and he does an excellent job of telling of time that may have been more simple, but was surely different, and he makes you long for the past, even if you weren't alive back then.  Great read.  Greatest basketball story ever?  I don't know, but it was sure up there.

Introspection:  4
Insight:  4
History:  1953-54 mostly, but up through 1992.
Readability:  4

The Greatest Basketball Story Ever Told: The Milan Miracle, Then and Now.  Greg Guffey.  Indiana University Press.  1993.

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