Sitting 90 minutes from Cincinnati, the historic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Indiana doesn’t try to be something it’s not. That is, it’s a nice destination without too many frills—charming without being cheesy, interesting without being complicated.
Just like the movie that was filmed there.
That movie, of course, is Hoosiers, which in 1986 stole our hearts with a simple story about basketball. Yes, it is about more than that—grief, community, the second chances in which American life abounds... But boil it down and all that remains is, again, a story about basketball.
What makes that story great is how real it feels. And for that, we have to thank two people: the casting director, who put non-actors in the player roles to increase the quality of the basketball; and the location scout, who invariably happened upon the Kingstown gym and thought, “Huh, this might work.”
Indeed it does work because it’s an intimate setting that effectively conveys the intimacy of rural, small-town Indiana. And it retains that intimacy today—in fact, it retains most details from the film—because the gym has been restored and well taken care of. They even host high school basketball games there now, in addition to the 60,000 visitors that pass through every year.
Here’s the thing: Unless you’re an enormous fan of Hoosiers, I’m not sure I’d drive those 90 minutes just to see the gym. Which, to be honest, I don’t think is a terribly controversial opinion. But if you’re on your way back from Indianapolis anyways, stopping by is definitely worth it.
And always remember folks, four passes!
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The Hoosier Gym is located at 355 N Washington Street, Knightstown, Indiana. For more information, visit their website.