State of Indiana


cop-side-indianaThere is some dispute over the original meaning of the term “Hoosier,” but whether it described a backwoodsman, a rough countryman or a country bumpkin, the state of Indiana has embraced and owned it. And, in a single word, the term conjures up thoughts of high school basketball, thanks to a 30-year-old movie starring Gene Hackman. While the Indianapolis 500 draws a quarter-million spectators each May, even the largest single-day sporting event in the world takes a backseat to hoops. Even the game’s originator, James Naismith, who set forth the rules in Massachusetts, would venture to Indiana for the high school tournament in 1925 and declared that the game was made for Indiana. Even then nearly 600 high school teams would better it out for the winner-take-all title. The biggest names in Indiana basketball lore are John Wooden, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and even Ohioan Bobby Knight. The state title game was long held at the cavernous Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, which is the state’s capital and largest city (by a wide margin). Indy is also home to the world headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, the state’s largest corporation.

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