(1-3-21) One hundred years ago the community of Knightstown, Indiana started construction on a new facility, that included a gymnasium. Today that gym is one of the most beloved to many basketball fans…all thanks to its being the home of the Hickory Huskers in the movie ‘Hoosiers‘.
Much like today the world was in the midst of a pandemic, the Spanish flu, that affected basketball even in Knightstown, Indiana in 1919 and 1920. Financial issues cut into high school sports during this time, but despite all of that basketball would recover.
The problem that existed in early 1921 was the school still had no gymnasium to practice or play in, after all basket ball was a new sport in the world of high school sports. In the past games were played at the Bell’s Hall above Jolly’s Drugstore. But the Knightstown community decided it was time to move on and change that…the first step would be to rent the gym at the local Presbyterian church for $127.00 for the year..
It was decided in 1921 to build a new facility, Knightstown Community Gymnasium, in December construction started and thanks to a community drive for the funding of a project like this…it was on its way.
Floyd Newby’s article (above) gave the full details of the process and how the facility would be an asset to the community in the future. One hundred years later, a lot of what he said came to be true…and more.
The 1921-22 basket ball season would see the first game played in what we now know as the ‘Hoosier Gym’… Sulphur Springs would knock off the Panthers 11-10.
It was said in the 1922 Knightsonian about what the new gym meant to the school after that game –
“a bad start means a good ending’.
But we had a good gym, and a good crowd and that is all we cared about the night. But our boys soon their stride and with the help of the community, the high school and the new Gym, the season was very successful.
One hundred years later we have another pandemic (COVID 19), the Hoosier Gym still survives…but all games scheduled for the 2020-21 were cancelled for safety reasons. But don’t be surprised if “a bad start means a good ending’ in years to come. Everyone is looking forward to the next time the gym will start playing games.
While many old-time gyms have been demolished over the years…one gym thanks to the 1980’s film ‘Hoosiers’ , the Knightstown Community Gymnasium (105 feet long and 80 feet wide), still remains and takes us all back to way the game of ‘basket ball‘ was played in the beginning.
Running the ‘picket fence’ –