The Chamber of Commerce of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County has compiled information to be put in a time capsule that will be opened 100 years from now. They asked the Basketball Heritage Project, Inc. to submit information about our organization to be included in the capsule. Below is what we submitted:
In 1892, Nicholas McCay moved from Massachusetts, where he was affiliated with James Naismith, to Crawfordsville to become General Secretary of the YMCA which was located in the historic Terminal Building in downtown Crawfordsville. He brought with him the 13 rules of a “new” game developed by Naismith called basketball. Some of the earliest games between high schools and colleges were played in Crawfordsville and from those early games, the game of basketball eventually became known nationwide as “Hoosier Hysteria!”
In 1911, Crawfordsville High School won the first IHSAA State Tournament. Wingate won the state tournament in 1913 and 1914. The first 8 state tournaments were won by teams within a 30 mile radius of Crawfordsville. Crawfordsville also finished as State Runner-up in 1916 and 1958. Wabash College won the 1982 NCAA Division III National Championship. (In that game Center, Pete Metzelaars scored a total of 45 points.) Because of this propitious record, Crawfordsville and Montgomery County became known as the “cradle of basketball.”
In 2009 the Basketball Heritage Project, Inc. (BHP) was founded by a group of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County high school alums. Our mission statement is, “to preserve and promote the rich basketball heritage of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County, Indiana.”
In April 2011, coinciding with the 100th Anniversary of Crawfordsville High School’s winning the first IHSAA State Tournament, BHP joined forces with the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame, Inc. to dedicate a Historical Marker commemorating the heritage and significant contributions Crawfordsville and Montgomery County high schools and Wabash College have made to the growth of the game of basketball nationwide, and stands at the site of the original YMCA gymnasium at 103 W. Main Street in downtown Crawfordsville. The dedication was followed by a reception in the old Crawfordsville High School gymnasium where all former and current Montgomery County High Schools and Wabash College were honored. We have exhibits of Montgomery County basketball memorabilia that are displayed at the Carnegie Museum and the store front windows of the PRKD building at 103 E. Main Street in Crawfordsville.
BHP has a web site (bhpinc.org) that provides a virtual basketball museum, and a Facebook page (Basketball Heritage Project, Inc.). BHP also provides an outreach program to high school student-athletes in Montgomery County by awarding scholarships to basketball clinics and camps. Basketball has been and continues to be an important part of our collective culture. We hope to nurture that culture and, at the same time, bring visitors to Crawfordsville and the other towns of Montgomery County to help revitalize their respective downtown areas.
To preserve and promote the rich basketball heritage of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County, IN