Madison House Publishing
Contact: Brian Gornik FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 Years Later, Hoosiers Pine for Single Class Basketball
New Book Explores the Myths of Hoosier Hysteria, Then and Now
For generations Indiana was synonymous with basketball. Hoosier Hysteria enraptured all of Indiana, and the statewide fascination with hoops was forever immortalized in the movie Hoosiers. 15 years ago, however, the IHSAA decided to abandon the traditional one class tournament in favor of a four-tiered system. The move was met with state-wide protests, derision, and ultimately, declining attendance for high school basketball.
Indianapolis author and journalist, Nate Dunlevy says that a number of factors led to the demise of the one class system, and that the move has left a scar on many Hoosiers. His new novel Invincible, Indiana explores the emerging cultural factors that created an atmosphere of change in the late ’90s. The influences he cites include the decline of small town life, educators redefining ‘success’, and an age old debate about equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity.
Dunlevy comments, “Attendance at high school games has dropped radically throughout the last decade, and there’s no better example of that than the state finals. Whereas once they drew as many as 60,000 patrons, today the IHSAA rarely coaxes 30,000 to come.” In his book, Dunlevy traces the dissolution of the mythology of high school basketball in Indiana, while conveying the heart-break that was the final one-class tournament for a fictional small-town.
“The fact is that the Hoosiers myths that grew up around the historic triumph of tiny Milan in the 50’s, were powerful, but also misleading. Basketball in Indiana was romanticized around the idea of a white farm boy shooting jump shots in a pair of old Chuck Taylors in a way that was probably never entirely real and certainly not universal to everyone from Indiana. This book honors the place those stories hold in our hearts, while exposing that in many ways they not only are no longer true, but perhaps were never true to begin with.”
Whether or not the IHSAA made a fatal mistake in abandoning the traditional tournament depends largely on who you ask. Many smaller schools have enjoyed tremendous success under the new system, but a great many Hoosiers still feel betrayed by the highly unpopular move.
Author Nate Dunlevy is already one of the most popular voices in Indiana sports coverage. His first book, Blue Blood: Tales of Glory of the Indianapolis Colts, explored the fragile history of the Colts as they fought for a place at the table and struggled to overcome the basketball bias inherent in Indiana. Now he takes on the traumatic final days of one class basketball, using the travails of fictional Invincible, Indiana to consider questions of greatness, fate, and the full court press.
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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Nate Dunlevy, please call Brian Gornik at 215-717-8302 or email Brian with the contact form below. The book can be purchased at Amazon.com or InvincibleIndiana.com.