Everyone who knows Indiana, knows that Indianians love their basketball! I grew up in Indiana and never really jumped on the bandwagon. I’m much more of a football fan myself. However, as I thought about what I wanted to do for my first Tour in Your Own Town blog entry…naturally, I thought of basketball. You may have heard that Indianians are often referred to as “Hoosiers,” the official demonym for a resident of the Indiana. The etymology of hoosier is unclear, but it has been used since at least 1830. There are many suggestions for the derivation of the word, but none is universally accepted. However, for all you movie buffs, Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film about a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship. It is loosely based on the Milan High School team that won the 1954 state championship. During filming on location at Hinkle Fieldhouse (just a few miles from our very own Indy Hostel), directors were unable to secure enough extras for shooting the final scenes even after casting calls through the Indianapolis media. To help fill the stands, they invited two local high schools to move a game to the Fieldhouse. Broad Ripple and Chatard.
Therefore, going along with the Hoosier in me, I decided to go to a Indiana Pacers game. The funny thing is…I have never actually stepped foot in Bankers Life Fieldhouse (formally known as Conseco Fieldhouse and if you are really old school…Market Square Arena). Yeah…I grew up here and never even stepped foot in it. It’s a shame, especially given that most of my life my mother had Pacers season tickets. Ha ha.
My friend’s 30th birthday was a perfect occasion to break through and try something new! We organized a group of 25 of us to go to the Pacers vs Miami Heat on 02.01.13. We had nose bleed seats (in section 228, rows 8 and 9) for such a large group, but it was great fun. From watching the athletes do their thing, to Boomer tossing out t-shirts into the crowd, the Pacemates dancing around, and most of all, hanging out with my best friends!!!! Guess, what? If one game wasn’t enough, I was invited to go to another Pacers vs Atlanta Hawks game just days later on 02.05.13. Two Pacers games in one week? What a lucky girl! The second time around I was privileged with free tickets in section 14 row 6! Sitting this close was a much different experience. I was right in the thick of the action! We got to see the half time show up close and personal! It was quite neat to see the fake players spin around and make baskets while jumping off trampolines! The seats were amazing and I actually was just a few rows behind the infamous Calbert Cheaney. Cheaney played small forward at Indiana University for head coach Bob Knight. He was Knight's first left-handed player and began his career with a flash, scoring 20 points in the season opener of his freshman year (the only Indiana freshman to ever do so). I remember Calbert Cheaney well as my grandmother was a die hard Indiana Hoosier basketball fan! For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to name my first born son Calbert. Ha ha! Next time you are in Indiana, check out a baseketball game and be a true Hoosier!!