The movie Hoosiers was a feel good story in 1954 that was based on an upset in the Indiana High School Basketball Tournament. The very next year 1955 involved a state championship game that changed the face of basketball in the United States and in many ways it was a game that had a profound effect on society in general.
When Indianapolis Crispus Attucks High School and Gary Roosevelt high met for the state championship it marked the first time in the country that two all black high schools met for the state championship. Lost in the emotion of what transpired the year before was the fact that history was made when that game was played. These two teams displayed skill and athleticism that was hardly seen before. In fact, the final score, 97 to 74 was the most combined points ever scored in the championship game and the record lasted for decades.
The year 1955 in Southern Indiana and the nation for that matter was not prepared to celebrate the success of two all black high schools. It is well documented as to how little fanfare was given to the victorious Indianapolis Attucks Tigers. In fact, that team has been characterized in some circles as the forgotten Hoosiers. In the Northern part of the state, Gary Indiana, the Gary Roosevelt team was better received.
At the Lakeshore Classic, we will reenact that historical moment and pay tribute to these pioneers of the sport who paved the way for the opportunities afforded our current student athletes. There are 6 surviving members of the Indianapolis Attucks team and 5 survivors from the Gary Roosevelt squad. Each team is represented by a former NBA great. The Attucks team was represented by NBA Hall of Famer Oscar “Big O” Robertson and the Roosevelt team was led by 2 time NBA champion Dick Barnett. All surviving members of each team have consented to be a part of our festivities.
Please join us, support us as we pay respect to these great men and as we provide a teachable moment for all of the youngsters who will benefit from this lesson in history. A tentative schedule of events is below:
Friday, November 29, 2013
12:00 p.m. (noon)(CST) Lakeshore Classic Corporate Luncheon (At the Genesis Convention Center) – Speakers, Oscar Robertson, Dick Barnett
6:00 p.m. (CST) Reunion Reception and Round table featuring players from 1955 (At Majestic Star Casino)
Free Admission for general audience.
Saturday, November 30,2013
Lakeshore Classic and CN presents The Game That Changed Basketball!
1:00 p.m. College Basketball Indiana University Northwest vs Holy Angels College (South Bend)
4:00 p.m. Tribute to the pioneers of the 1955 State Championship Game
6:00 p.m. Indianapolis Crispus Attucks vs Gary Roosevelt
8:00 p.m. Gary West vs Indianapolis Shortridge
When & Where
Gary Chamber of Commerce
The Gary Chamber of Commerce exists to promote and protect the interest of businesses that contribute to the quality of life in Gary Indiana. To learn more about the Gary Chamber of Commerce, please contact Chuck Hughes at 219 885 7407.