New Market Purple Flyers
Two things stand out in the history of New Market basketball. First, the only Montgomery County basketball player to play in the NBA was a New Market graduate. Earl “Red” Gardner graduated from New Market in 1941; he went on to play college basketball at Wabash and Depauw and with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948-49. Second, the most amazing sectional tournament performance in Montgomery County basketball history (and perhaps Indiana high school basketball history) was posted by the 1967 team. After a 2-17 regular season record, the Purple Flyers won the Crawfordsville Sectional.
The County Tournament which began in 1932 was won the most times by New Market (7). The Purple Flyers won three straight County championships in 1939, 1940, 1941, a feat that was accomplished only one other time, by Darlington in 1968, 1969, and 1970. The Purple Flyers also won the sectional championship in 1950 before their victory in 1967.
Three Purple Flyer players are in the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame: Earl “Red” Gardner (1941), Steve Powers (1962), and Jim Slavens (1966). Harold “Jack” Hester, a graduate of New Market, who coached New Market as well as Ladoga during his coaching career, is also in the Montgomery County Hall of Fame as a coach. Earl “Red” Gardner is in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
New Market had a girl’s basketball team in the 1920’s.