The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

High School Sports

November 5, 2013

Springs Valley launched Bird legacy



The main attraction

High school basketball fans all around the area were flocking to see Bird play.

“Our gym holds 2,700 people. Loogootee came here and both were undefeated. I think there was probably 5,000 people in the gym,” Weikert said. “They were sitting up by the window ledges. It was the game of the year. I think we got beat. If the fire marshal came, it would have been tough to run ‘em out.

They wanted to see a ball game.”

Jones had never seen anything like it.

“The night he got 55 points and 38 rebounds. Gary gave him a lot of freedom, allowed him to expand his game, and he just took it to another level,” Jones said.

Bird, now the one drawing the top college coaches into the area, took Springs Valley to the sectional crown. The Blackhawks won a first-round regional game but could not fend off the Bedford Stone Cutters in the regional final, falling a game short of the Sweet 16.

Jones, who has returned to live near Springs Valley after climbing Indiana’s all-time wins list after many years at Terre Haute North Vigo, said Bird’s one-year improvement was his physical tools catching up to a complete understanding of basketball.

“He just became much bigger and stronger. He always had the qualities,” Jones said.

Copybreaks:Remembering his roots

Holland had the pleasure of coaching an Indiana All-Star who brought Louisville’s Denny Crum and Indiana’s Bobby Knight to French Lick. Bird made a popular choice when he chose the Hoosiers, but he left Bloomington after just a few weeks on the IU campus.

Bird worked for the city sanitation department during his year away from school and played AAU basketball — building confidence against many of the current college standouts from IU and other schools.

Bird kept close ties with his hometown, after his ISU career and as he began his professional career with the Celtics, returning home during the off-season and giving back to the people who supported him as a youth. “Larry, when he would sign endorsement contracts, the school was always included for part of it,” Weikert said. “Kids had free shoes for many years. Basketballs came thanks to Larry.”


Text Only
High School Sports
  • Lions star plays in national tourneys Liberty Christian senior Chris Nunn, a three-year starting guard for the Lions and Indiana Class Basketball Junior All-Star, took his talents on the road this summer,competing in back-to-back tournaments with his AAU travel team, Team Progeny.

    July 28, 2014

  • Riddle again steps down as Frankton coach

    For the second time in a storied coaching career at Frankton High School, Dean Riddle has resigned his post as the girls varsity basketball coach.

    July 26, 2014

  • Pay for South Madison soccer coaches under review An ad hoc parent group wants the South Madison Community Schools board to consider raising the stipend for Pendleton Heights High School soccer coaches.

    July 21, 2014

  • SPT - HB0720 - Mireles art Mireles looks toward future after all-star finale Surrounded by his friends and family near midfield under the lights of Friday night, Elwood’s Sammy Mireles did something he’s never done in his career. The state’s all-time leading rusher freely absorbed a hit.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0715 - Mireles art Mireles leaning toward joining Ravens The next big play record-setting running back Sammy Mireles makes could be at Anderson University.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0712 - Morgan Nadaline art Nadaline's storied junior career concludes Morgan Nadaline's junior golf career came to an end Friday when Rachel Johnson sank a birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole to win the Indiana Section Junior PGA Championship at Honeywell Golf Course in Wabash.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0710 - Brady Cherry art THB Baseball Player of the Year: Lapel's Brady Cherry The hardest part of the 2014 season for Brady Cherry might have been living up to his own legend.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0709 - Weins art Weins aids Eagles' bonding process

    Contrary to popular belief, sometimes numbers do lie. Logan Weins surrendered nine hits and seven runs in the final start of his high school career — a sectional championship loss against Class 2A state champion Wapahani — and nobody argues those figures. But they don't tell the whole story.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - AOTY - softball - Benefiel 3 Repeat for Benefiel

    It might not have been the season that she envisioned, but it was a mark worth honoring.Pendleton Heights’ Bailey Benefiel put up some spectacular numbers and earned the nod as The Herald Bulletin’s Softball Pitcher of the Year — repeating the award she also won a season ago.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - AOTY - softball - Noone 2 Noone as in No-one better It is hard to imagine how Elwood's Jessie Noone could have had a better senior season individually than the one she posted this past spring.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo

Latest Sports Photos

Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin