By Mike White | Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 2:45 p.m.
I was in a special place early this morning, a place you can appreciate even if you're not a basketball junkie.
I was on the campus of Butler University and was in storied Hinkle Field House.
Hinkle is Butler's home and the old place where the movie "Hoosiers" was shot. It's the place where Jimmy Chitwood hits the winning shot to give Hickory High School a state championship in the 1950s in the movie. Chitwood and Hickory aren't real. They are based on Bobby Plump and Milan High School. Plump was the star of the 1954 Milan team that did indeed win an Indiana state championship.
Hinkle is a storied facility and walking around it today was like being in Boston's Fenway Park, or some other legendary sports facility. Walk into Hinkle and there is a feeling you get that is indescribable if you a basketball junkie. Hinkle is old, but it has so much character. I felt like I could see Plump making the winning shot in 1954. The place really hasn't changed all that much since then, so they say, except in 1989 it did undergo a remodeling job. Chairback seats were put in some areas. But the bleachers are still there. The bleachers are old, but are now padded on top.
And the university wants to keep it small-time, no matter the success of the basketball teamI was taken into the office of Coach Brad Stevens. He was watching some film in his office, which by the way has no windows.
You wouldn't believe the media attention at the place this week. It seems everyone is falling in love with the Butler story. While I was there, CBS had star Butler player Gordon Heyward stand on a platform just above the last row of bleachers. Glass windows were right behind him and what a silhouette image it created. I was able to snap a quick picture. what other arena has large windows right at the top of the seats?
Plump went on to play at Butler and now owns a small restaurant a couple miles from campus. The name? Plump's Last Shot. Just drove by it.