BENNETT'S MINUTES: Eagles to play in Hoosier Gym on Saturday

Sunday, January 22, 2017

South Putnam boys’ basketball coach Greg Dean is trying to offer as many learning opportunities for his young team as possible.

Last month, Dean took the team to the Hall of Fame Classic tournament in New Castle to see some of the state’s top players perform, and the Eagles also visited the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame near the school.

Leg two of the basketball educational tour will take place on Saturday, as the Eagles will kick off a five-game event at the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown — the homecourt of the fictional Hickory Huskers in the movie “Hoosiers.”

The Eagles moved their scheduled home game with Bloomington Lighthouse in order to have an opportunity to play on the legendary surface, and also to repay a favor.

“They took us to Conseco Fieldhouse a couple of years ago,” Dean said. “We are glad it worked out to take them to this game.”

Dean said the players will get a tour of the facility, which still has some iconic things from the movie — including the framed team photo on the wall.

“I hope their moms, dads and grandparents can remember that movie (released in 1986), because we’re getting to the point where not all of our players have even seen it,” Dean said last week. “They all have to see that movie to see what this is all about. We have talked about having a team movie night before we go.”

The gymnasium only seats 680 spectators, so seating is limited and purchasing tickets in advance is recommended.

“The kids are really looking forward to it,” Dean said. “It’s not something that everybody gets to do.”

The game organizers also make this event a fund-raising opportunity. Both teams are given approximately 300 tickets to sell, Dean said, and the will get to keep $9 of the $10 price.

There is no parking close to the gym, so fans are advised they will be walking a few blocks from where they park.

“It’s a good chance for us to make some money,” he said. “It’s a place that has some history to it, and with the Hollywood stuff also.”

Tickets will be on sale this week in the South Putnam office. Tickets will not be available at the door unless schools do not sell out their allotment.

‘Hoosier Gym’ schedule

11:30 a.m. – South Putnam vs. Bloomington Lighthouse

1:30 p.m. – North Montgomery vs. Attica

3:30 p.m. – Crawfordsville vs. Turkey Run

5:30 p.m. – Southmont vs. Harrison

7:30 p.m. – Highland vs. Hammond Gavit

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