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Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler University is honored with a new state historical plaque in Indiana

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Indianapolis, Indiana – On Saturday, Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse received additional praise.

The historic site now has an Indiana state historical monument honoring the momentous occasions it has held throughout its nearly century-long existence.

Butler Fieldhouse, the arena’s original name, debuted in 1928. It was renamed in 1965 in honor of Tony Hinkle, the 41-year Butler men’s basketball coach and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Indiana High School Boys Basketball Tournament was held in Hinkle Fieldhouse in two notable years, 1928–1942 and 1945–1971. A memorable pre-game event at the location was the Milan Miracle of 1954, in which Bobby Plump’s game-winning shot in the boys state championship game lifted Milan High School over Muncie Central.

Muncie Central was thought to be ten times larger than Milan at the time, according to IN.gov. Because Indiana had not yet instituted its present four-class basketball system—which established distinct state tournaments for small and large schools—the schools were permitted to play in the state championship game.

The 1986 film “Hoosiers” drew inspiration from the Milan Miracle. Hinkle Fieldhouse served as the backdrop for a few of the movie’s scenes.

Crispus Attucks became the first all-Black team to win Indiana state boys basketball titles at the Hinkle Fieldhouse tournaments in 1955 and 1956. In 1975, over two decades later, Hinkle Fieldhouse played host to the inaugural Indiana State Girls Basketball Tournament.

“Tons of people come to Hinkle Fieldhouse all the time for reasons other than just basketball,” said Judi Warren, the first Miss Indiana Basketball. “To have this marker here letting people know the importance of this facility, what it did back in World War II and what it has done for so many athletes and where it’s taken their lives. This building is transformable for anyone.”

During World War II, Hinkle Fieldhouse served as a military training facility. Former presidents Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all given addresses there as well.

Hinkle Fieldhouse most recently served as the site of 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament events.

Hinkle Fieldhouse is still the home court for the Butler women’s and men’s basketball and volleyball teams.

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