.....The BiKeWriTeR

TheBiKeWriTer | Small town – big surprise, Milan, IN

Everywhere you looked in Milan, IN there is a sign touting an accomplishment from 68 years ago.

The small town sure was proud of that team but odd it had not accomplished anything since?

It was the clerks at Jay C Food Store who enlightened me.

“We had the team that inspired the movie Hoosiers with Gene Hackman,” said Andrei Petravicius.

I was stunned.

”We have a museum and one of the fellas we beat was a young Oscar Robertson,” said Wayne Jones about the former Milwaukee Buck.

And in all these years nobody had a son or a grandson who was talented enough to make another run at a state title?

“That’s why it’s such a big accomplishment,” said Petravicius. ”We are such a small town we weren’t even supposed to win the first time.”

The final score in 1954 was Milan 32 Muncie 30.

Susan Cottingham was the director of the Milan ‘54 Hoosiers Museum, formerly a bank.

Susan was kind enough to meet me at the museum at 8:30 p.m. and let me look around.

It was a magnificent collection of high school and Hollywood memorabilia that put the tiny town of Milan, IN on the map.

The Rollin Cutter rim was attached to the side of the side of the garage/ granary on the Cutter farm in 1948. It was made from a burlap sack and stitched with bailing wire on the bottom.

High-top tennis shoes line the top row of a locker that carries the individual names of players on the team.

A clothesline of colorful uniforms is strung along the ceiling.

The bicycle from the movie along with the hospital bed are two of the items from Hollywood donated to the collection.

None of the big stars have visited the museum in Milan. But that seems to be OK with the people in the community who still revel in the accomplishment of the 1954 Indians.

If the way that somebody lives pleases the Lord, the Lord will lead him into good things. Psalm 37:23 Easy English Bible

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