Hoops Hysteria

Basketball is a culture in the Hoosier state, and it’s in this culture that some of the greatest to play the sport were raised.

Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Gordon Hayward, and Glenn Robinson are a few of the names that get tossed around during hoops hysteria and have become synonymous with “basketball” in Indiana.

On March 23, Calbert Cheaney officially cemented his place in history as one of the greats when he was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. A member of the 55th induction class, the basketball star has an illustrious past with the sport in Indiana — a past filled with still unbroken records.

Evansville Living first wrote about Cheaney when he played against the Indianapolis Pacers as a Boston Celtic in “Fieldhouse of Dreams” in the May/June 2000 issue. During his trip back to Indiana, he reflected on why he decided to finance a recreation and education center in Evansville.

“I want to be remembered for something like that,” Cheaney told Evansville Living. “Basketball is just basketball. It’s a game. You’re not going to play it forever, and life goes on. I want to help other people, and not be just an individual on the basketball court.”

The Evansville native is the only basketball player in Harrison High School history to have his jersey retired. While at Harrison, he set the single-game scoring record with 47 points, and it has yet to be broken.

Following his high school career, he went on to play at Indiana University under head coach Bob Knight. During his four years on the team, he helped lead the Hoosiers to two Big Ten crowns.

Cheaney still holds the titles of both Indiana University and the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer with 2,613 points. After being named National Player of the Year, he was selected sixth overall in the 1993 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets (now the Washington Wizards). His 13 seasons in the NBA were spent wearing jerseys for the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, and the Golden State Warriors.

For more information about the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, call 765-529-1891 or visit hoopshall.com.

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