The Milan Miracle: The Town that Hoosiers Left Behind

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Indiana University Press, Aug 29, 2016 - Sports & Recreation - 194 pages

Will lightning ever strike twice? Can David beat Goliath a second time? These questions haunt everyone in the small town of Milan, Indiana, whose basketball team inspired Hoosiers, the greatest underdog sports movie ever made. From a town of just 1,816 residents, the team remains forever an underdog, but one with a storied past that has them eternally frozen in their 1954 moment of glory. Every ten years or so, Milan has a winning season, but for the most part, they only manage a win or two each year. And still, perhaps because it’s the only option for Milan, the town believes that the Indians can rise again. Bill Riley follows the modern day Indians for a season and explores how the Milan myth still permeates the town, the residents, and their high level of expectations of the team. Riley deftly captures the camaraderie between the players and their coach and their school pride in being Indians. In the end, there are few wins or causes for celebration—there is only the little town where basketball is king and nearly the whole town shows up to watch each game. The legend of Milan and Hoosiers is both a blessing and a curse.

 

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User Review  - ecataldi - LibraryThing

This book wasn't what I thought it would be and I think I loved it even more for that. Based off the title I naively assumed that this would be about the 1954 Milan team that inspired the movie ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
1
1 MEASUREMENTS AND PRIORITIES
9
2 GROWING UP MILAN
16
3 WE ASK FOR A CHANCE THATS FAIR
25
4 HOME
35
5 WORKING FOR FREE
44
6 ALL QUIET
53
7 THE EXPENDABLES
61
12 SOMETHING POSITIVE
103
13 SITTING TOGETHER
112
14 HYSTERIA
120
15 THE MILAN EVERYONE EXPECTS
130
16 SENIOR NIGHT
141
17 HOPE
145
18 BOTH LION AND LAMB
154
19 GRADUATION
161

8 GAMES WITHIN THE GAME
69
9 CHANGE FOR THE NICE BOYS
77
10 STALLING
89
11 AGAIN
98
EPILOGUE
166
POSTSCRIPT
171
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About the author (2016)

Bill Riley is a writer and teacher originally from Greenfield, Indiana. His work has been featured in Punchnel’s, Prime Number, Spry Literary Journal, and Terre Haute Living Magazine. Connect with the author on his website, www.authorbillriley.com.

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