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Milan Indians remembered 70 years after winning state title

Milan Indians remembered 70 years after winning state title – News 8 at 10

MILAN, Ind. (WISH) — Seventy years after their historic state championship run, the 1954 Milan Indians were honored on Saturday.

For several decades, all Indiana high school basketball teams played in a single class, meaning larger schools usually stood in the way of smaller teams.

But that wasn’t the case in 1954, when tiny Milan High in Ripley County made an improbable run to the state finals.

The team knocked off perennial power Crispus Attucks, lead by future Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, in the playoffs before defeating Muncie Central in the state championship.

Bobby Plump scored 6 points in the championship win, none more important than the last two.

“That last game that everybody remembers where I hit the game winning shot, it was the worst game I played in two years of tournament play,” said Plump.

Plump and other surviving teammates were honored Saturday at the high school 70 years after their historic victory.

Sportscasters Jim Nantz and Bob Costas delivered taped messages of support. Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and current Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb also spoke at the event.

“It’s not just about overcoming the odds, or being the underdog up against goliath, but doing it the right way,” said Holcomb. “Practice, practice, practice leads to better things.”

The Milan Indians were the inspiration for the 1986 movie “Hoosiers,” starring Gene Hackman.

“It’s a special story, but it has a deep meaning to it, and you can drive a lot of inspiration and examples to follow, whether it’s in your family life or your business life,” said Holcomb.

The Milan Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, and has memorabilia from the historic 1954 season.