As you may have heard, three city schools took home state basketball championship hardware this previous weekend. Charles Tindley Accelerated School beat Lafayette Catholic 51-40 to take the State Class A Championship. Crispus Attucks popped Twin Lakes 73-71 to claim the Class 3A championship, and Ben Davis took the measure of Fort Wayne North in something of an upset win 55-52 for the 4A championship.
For the Attuck’s Tigers under first year head coach Chris Hawkins, it was their fourth state title; however, their last title came in 1959 some 58 years ago. To make it even sweeter for the Tigers players, state basketball legend and the man who led Crispus Attucks to back-to-back state titles in 1955 and ‘56, Oscar Robertson was there to congratulate them and present them with their medals. The three previous titles for the Tigers came in the era before class basketball. The 1955 Attucks team made sports history when they were the first team with an all black roster to win a state high school championship of any kind.
The Ben Davis Giants won their third trophy after winning back to back in 1995 and ‘96. But for coach Mark James, it was his first championship in 35 years of coaching. This was a bit of an upset for the unranked Giants. Fort Wayne North was the state’s fourth ranked team going into the tournament. This was the first time Fort Wayne North had made a championship game since 1965 when they were runner-up.
Tindley came up with a hard fought victory over Central Catholic. Coach Bob Wonell’s Tigers came up with a game-winning last minute shot as the Tigers worked the clock down to beat the Knights.
Some local sports history has been made as this is the first time any city in Indiana has fielded three state high school basketball champions in the same year. On Thursday, April 6, the three teams and their coaches are being invited to meet the mayor for a parade around Monument Circle. They will then join the Mayor on the field at Victory Field where they will be honored before the first pitch of the season. They will watch the game and enjoy some special goodies as the guests of the mayor and the Indianapolis Indians team. It will be a great day for Indianapolis sports.
The New Hoosier Coach
After the departure of Tom Crean, Indiana’s AD Fred Glass was able to hire Archie Miller who had been the head man for the Dayton University Fliers Basketball team. Miller had been with Dayton since 2011 and was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year for 2017. Ryan Joseph Miller is 38 years old and was born in Beaver Falls, PA — also the birthplace of Joe Namath. He was nicknamed Archie after “Archie Bunker” of All in the Family fame. Miller attended Blackhawk High School where he played under his father, Pennsylvania coaching legend John Miller. He attended North Carolina State and played point guard for the Wolfpack. He graduated in 2002 and took a position as assistant coach at Western Kentucky. Stints at North Carolina, Ohio State and Arizona followed. His brother John is the head man at Arizona and has served as a mentor for Archie. His sister was also a high school and college basketball player. Archie Miller’s overall record with the Flyers was 139 – 63 with two Atlantic Ten championships under his belt. This appears to be a good match for Assembly Hall. Let’s hope he has the same success in Bloomington that he did in Dayton.