Milan Miracle To Be Featured On HBO
By Mike Perleberg
(Milan, Ind.) – Southeast Indiana’s most well-known sports story will be featured in a televised HBO special on Thanksgiving night.
The tale of the legendary 1954 Milan High School basketball team will be part of the premier episode of the new documentary series “Sport in America: Our Defining Stories.”
The 95-minute special will air on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
“This all new documentary by HBO, Sports Illustrated, and End Game Entertainment examines how the universal thread of sport unites us as a people and has shaped America’s character,” according to an announcement from Ripley County Tourism.
The Indians – whose school enrollment was just 161 students – defeated Muncie Central – enrollment 1,662 – in the 1954 single-class Indiana state tournament championship game. Bobby Plump sank the game-winning shot as time expired. The Milan season inspired one of the greatest sports movies of all-time, Hoosiers.
For the series, filmmakers sifted through thousands of personal stories from fans who have been part of sports’ most transcendent events to create a tapestry of stories reflecting our culture. It examines what these events meant to us, why they moved us, why they inspired us and what they tell us about who we are.
The Milan segment will include the accounts of Dr. Norman Jones, who attended the championship game at Butler University’s storied Hinkle Fieldhouse. Jones – at the time a Marion High School that later lettered in basketball at Ball State University in 1958 and 1959 – sent the suggestion to Sports Illustrated after seeing an ad asking for fans to share their sporting event stories.
In addition to the “Milan Miracle,” other stories the “Sport in America: Our Defining Stories” will feature include Hank Aaron setting the home run record, the Boston Marathon, Jessie Owens at the 1936 Olympics, and Kurt Gibson’s walk-off home run in the 1988 World Series.