Basketball season doesn’t have to be over, at least, not with the book One Small Town, One Crazy Coach by Mike Roos!
The Milan ’54 Indians were not the only small town team to go far.
Book Review: One Small Town, One Crazy Coach by Mike Roos
What Hoosier doesn’t love a good basketball story, especially one based on true events? One Small Town, One Crazy Coach shares the story behind the 1963 Ireland Spuds high school basketball team.
The best (and tallest) players had graduated the year before. But now, there’s a new coach in town, and he’s ready to whip the Spuds into shape!
In this small Indiana town of 400 people, change isn’t always appreciated–especially when it involves a man like Pete Gill. With rough language and rough manners, he’s not exactly what the town is expecting.
Still, Pete Gill believes in the fundamentals of basketball. He believes in teamwork and working together towards a great shot. He also believes that he can get the Ireland Spuds to defeat the team that usually wins the Sectional Game: the Jasper Wildcats.
In Ireland, they don’t dare even utter the name. But Pete Gill isn’t superstitious.
No, the new basketball coach was ready to get over his own high school basketball Sectional loss to the Jasper Wildcats back when he was in school in the late 40’s. This book covers a time when basketball was KING. Towns lived for their high school hoops team. If you need further evidence of that one, go browse the Milan ’54 museum sometime!
Life After Basketball
What a story the Ireland Spud team makes! Author Mike Roos weaves in the people and places of the time. You get attached to quite a few of them! I find myself wondering about the way their lives turned out. I chuckled at a place near the end where they mention (the now closed) Wendell’s Cafe in Dale, Indiana. I can almost imagine the two guys sitting there, eating pie.
You don’t need to know a lot about basketball to fall in love with this book. It’s more than a book about basketball. It’s about the people of Ireland, the way they thought, the things they hoped, and their lives. It’s small town Indiana and you know we can easily dig into a book like that!
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