Crawfordsville in Montgomery County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Cradle of Basketball
In 1892 the game of basketball was brought to Crawfordsville from its birthplace in Massachusetts by Rev. Nicholas McCay, General Secretary of the Crawfordsville YMCA that was located on this site in what would become known as the Terminal Building. Teams from Crawfordsville and Montgomery County schools and Wabash College first played the game here. Over the years, the game of basketball evolved into “Hoosier Hysteria” culminating every year with the Indiana High School Basketball State Tournament Finals and the NCAA National Finals.
Crawfordsville won the first IHSAA State Basketball Championship in 1911. Wingate won the State Championship in 1913 and 1914. The first eight IHSAA State Basketball Championships were won by schools located within 30 miles of Crawfordsville making this region the “Cradle of Basketball” in Indiana and contributing significantly to the development of the game nationally. Wabash College was instrumental in promoting basketball on the college level.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Sports. A significant historical year for this entry is 1892.
Location. 40° 2.496′ N, 86° 54.119′ W. Marker is in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in Montgomery County. Marker is on West Main Street west of Washington Street, on the left when traveling west. Located at the back entrance and parking lot of PNC Bank (which is on the South / West corner of Washington and Main Streets - - across from the Montgomery County Courthouse in Crawfordsville, Indiana.). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Crawfordsville IN 47933, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Montgomery County's Tribute to her Heroic Dead (within shouting distance of this marker); Howdy Wilcox (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Otto Schlemmer Building (about 700 feet away); Crawfordsville (Indiana) Carnegie Library (about 800 feet away); Saint John's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Montgomery County Rotary Jail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Crawfordsville.
Regarding Cradle of Basketball. In Crawfordsville's
On Saturday (4-16-2011) at the Athena Center in Crawfordsville - Chris May Executive Director of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame stated:: “Each year at our March coach’s meeting we recognize the teams which won the state title 25 and 50 years ago,” May said. “Now we are to the point we can honor those team from 100 years ago. We would like to present Crawfordsville High School a plaque in honor of that first state championship.”
In addition, May showed a flag representing Crawfordsville’s 1911 state title. The flag will fly at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame for one year and will then be given to the school.
May also brought with him the old county keg. The display was among one of the most popular. Many of those in attendance stopped to take pictures of the prized trophy which all the county schools battled for until consolidation. It is now housed as part of a permanent display at the Hall of Fame in New Castle.
“This is a great event,” May said. “I got here early this morning and was very impressed as soon as I walked in. You can’t help but feel the passion of this community for its basketball as soon as you walked in these doors. Montgomery County has a passion that is matched by few, if anyone else in the state.”
Also see . . .
1. The Athenian Athlete. A History of Crawfordsville High School Athletics website homepage (Submitted on May 3, 2011, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
2. The First Indiana High School Basketball Tournament Champions: 1911, Crawfordsville High School. Indiana History blog entry (Submitted on July 9, 2011.)
3. Hoosier Hysteria. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on November 14, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 24, 2011, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,958 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 24, 2011, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 4. submitted on May 9, 2011. 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 24, 2011, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Old photos of any type -and- also specifically for the 'old' Terminal Building itself. • • Can you help?