Hoosier History: Henry County is for Basketball Lovers

Basketball lovers know Indiana as a mecca for the sport, but in the heart of Indiana is a county where basketball is a way of life. Henry County is home to three remarkable basketball attractions, all within easy driving distance of one another.

The Historic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown welcomes tourists back in time to an era when basketball games were the center of community life in rural Indiana. The gymnasium served as a film location for the classic sports movie “Hoosiers,” and continues to be a gathering place for local teams and a popular venue for community events.

A section of the Hoosier Gym facility is dedicated to Indiana basketball history, including a team photo of the Hickory Huskers from the movie. A collection of merchandise includes gift items and apparel designed for a basketball fan.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Museum in New Castle celebrates the heritage of basketball in Indiana. The museum’s courtyard features more than 6,000 engraved bricks honoring notable names in the game’s history, and flags fly to represent teams who experienced recent post-season success.

Inside the museum, interactive exhibits allow guests to take a game-winning shot, test basketball knowledge, and become a sportscaster. The museum is filled with interesting memorabilia, with the Enshrinement Gallery permanently honoring inductees. The Jordan Library contains history on over 1,000 Indiana high schools and videos such as archived game films.

Next door to the museum is the New Castle High School Fieldhouse, which is the largest high school fieldhouse of its kind, seating 9,325 fans. The fieldhouse was completed in 1959 and has exceeded capacity during the times when Kent Benson and Steve Alford played for the New Castle Trojans.

The venue hosts the Hall of Fame Classic every year in December, highlighting top-level teams from around the state. The Fieldhouse has also hosted ESPN showcase games, featuring basketball’s premier high school talent.

Many basketball teams visit all three of these Henry County attractions as part of a tour. The tour helps to grow a love for the sport among the players and strengthens team bonds. For more information about team trips, contact the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame at info@hoopshall.com.

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