Portion Of Hinkle Fieldhouse To Be Named For Bobby Plump
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – In historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, where he made the shot to win the 1954 boys basketball state championship game for Milan High School, Bobby Plump’s name will adorn a portion of the 86-year-old building.
Plump sank the “Milan Miracle” shot on the home floor of Butler University. On Sunday, Plump was surprised with the announcement that a joint $50,000 gift in his name had been made to the school’s Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse, according to a Butler news release.
Part of the ceremony were Butler President James M. Danko and Indiana Pacers broadcaster Bobby “Slick” Leonard. Hollywood screenwriter and producer Angelo Pizzo – the brain behind the movie Hoosiers inspired by Milan’s title run – also appeared. As did Maris Valainis, who played Jimmy, the character recreate Plump’s winning jumpshot in the film.
In recognition of the gift, the southwest concourse ramp of the storied basketball venue will be named for Plump, who played there collegiately four years for coach Tony Hinkle after graduating from Milan in 1954.
A fellow Milan native and Plump’s friend, Tony Kohlmeier, initiated the effort to raise the monetary gift.
“I’ve had a love of Hinkle Fieldhouse all my life, going back to when Indiana had single class basketball, and high schools in the state had the opportunity to come to Hinkle to watch the semi-state and final four games. This gift is something to honor Bobby, Butler, and the town of Milan,” Kohlmeier said in the release.
Contributions from the gift came from a variety of sources including the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and 12 individuals living in Indiana, Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, and Maine.
“Several donors do not know Mr. Plump; they only know of him and the Milan story,” Butler Advancement officer Graham Honaker said. “Three-quarters of the funding came from first-time donors to Butler.”
The Hinkle Campaign has raised $17.1 million to fund the preservation and improvements at Hinkle Fieldhouse. More information is available online at www.hinklecampaign.com.
Congratulations Bobby! My parents Bill and Mary Gray Thompson would be so happy for you and proud of you as they were for/of all the players on the "Mighty Milan Miracle" team. I have enjoyed seeing the Milan team's display in the Hinkle/Butler Fieldhouse during my daughter's years as a Butler student. Now when we visit we will walk on an even more appropriately named path! Thanks for the memories and thanks Tom for spearheading the effort to make this happen!