Basketball: King of Indiana
Memoir relates Man’s Life Spent in Shadow of “Hoosier Hysteria”
SAVAGE, MN. – Long before the days of sitting in front of the television and watching the game, whole towns would show up to
pack tiny rural gymnasiums every Friday night in the hopes that this would be their team’s year. In his new memoir, Basketball: King
of Indiana (now available through AuthorHouse), Gary Lee Smith takes readers back to the days when penny loafers and poodle skirts
reigned supreme and “Hoosier hysteria” was born.
Smith was raised in Clinton, Ind., a small town nestled on the banks of the Wabash River. The summer he was born – 1936 - was
one of the hottest on record, making basketball season more welcome than usual that fall. Throughout his book, Smith details his days
spent growing up in a typical Midwestern town during the Depression, World War II and the after war boom times. His conversational
style as he discusses his family and close-knit community helps older readers relate and younger ones learn about what life was like
“back when”. He expertly captures the high school boys who became local, county and statewide heroes as he recalls the true story of
the “Milan Miracle” of 1954 and its effect on every other small school in the state.
Readers are immersed in Smith’s life to reflect upon the ways in which the “king of sports” in Indiana impacted his formative years.
From paper routes and time spent on the court as a player and manager for his school team to the thrill of freedom that comes with the
driver’s license, Smith lets his readers share in his memories of days gone by.
The result is Basketball: King of Indiana, a nostalgic journey that is sure to resonate with any sports fan or student of history.
Smith graduated from Clinton High School in 1954, the same year Milan High School beat the incredible odds to win the Indiana
State basketball Championship. He holds a bachelor’s degree of electrical engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from St.
Louis University. He was employed by McDonnell Aircraft from 1959-66 and spent the remainder of his career as a manager and
consultant for various companies. In addition to Indiana, he has lived in Missouri, California and Virginia. He and his wife currently
reside in Minnesota. They have four children and ten grandchildren.
Basketball: King of Indiana is Smith’s first book.