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Synopsis

It is often said that while Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in Massachusetts, the sport was raised and ultimately came of age in the high schools of Indiana, the state where politics, religion, and sweet corn fall in line behind the game played with the round orange ball. Tales from Indiana High School Basketball centers on those special people who have played the gametheir stories, their passion, their drive for excellence, their laughs, and their tears. This is a book about Lebanon schoolboy hero Rick Mount, the first prep basketball player ever featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The year was 1966, and Mounts sweet jump shot had college recruiters flocking to the city 30 minutes north of Indianapolis. Its about Gene Cato, the Indiana High School Athletic Associations former commissioner whose fatherhis high school coachwould not put the young scoring phenom into a game until his teams fans demanded it. Its also about Marions "Purple Reign"consecutive state championships in 1985, 1986, and 1987 when the Giants were the most important game on every opponents schedule. John Wooden, Bobby Plump, Steve Alford, Damon Bailey. Its as easy for an Indiana high school basketball fan to roll the names off the tongue as it is to find the broadcast of a high school game on AM radio on any Friday night during an Indiana winter. Tales from Indiana High School Basketball is not so much about statistics and winning streaks as it is about the personalities and emotions of those who created a phenomenon that neither a New York City cab driver nor a Malibu-based surfer could understand. These high school kids became heroes and legends. Their stories will live on through generation after generation. Tales from Indiana High School Basketball is much more than a compilation of intriguing roundball stories. It is a way of life in the Hoosier State. Author Jeff Washburn, a Lafayette Journal and Courier sportswriter since 1972, has been watching Indiana high school basketball for 50 yearssince his mother took him to see the great Oscar Robertson and Indianapolis Crispus Attucks when the writer was six months old. Like most Hoosiers, the game is in his blood and certainly in his heart, from which these tales flow.

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