BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — As basketball fans from all over the country come to Indianapolis for the NBA All-Star game, leaders in Bloomington are hoping some of them will also take a fast break farther south.
The Hoosier Basketball Trail comes from the city’s own billing as a “hub for the sport’s legends and lore,” in particular citing the successes of Indiana University teams and the many places that celebrate them.
“We’ve had (the Basketball Trail) put together for a few years, actually,” Jordan Smith of Visit Bloomington said Monday on WISH-TV’s Daybreak. “For basketball fans in general, not just Hoosier basketball fans, but fans of college basketball altogether!”
The list ranges from hallowed halls to historic haunts — and several other stops in between. The headliner is clearly Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
“One of the most historic places, if you are a fan of college basketball, this definitely needs to be on your bucket list of places to see a game,” said Smith, citing the banners that hang at the ends of the Hoosiers’ home court and the 17,000 or so fans who cheer them on. “The ‘Sacred Grounds’ of college basketball, as we like to call it.”
Visit Bloomington also highlights the town’s many fabled eateries, including Buffalouie’s, “the best wings in all of America,” claims Smith,” and Nick’s English Hut. “We consider that the second-best place to watch the game outside of being at the game itself.”
Another stop offers a place to rest your head: The Graduate Bloomington Hotel, which has managed the remarkable feat of being a chain that feels totally unique to each of the college towns that have them. “If you look up, the chandeliers are decorated in chairs as a nice nod and homage to the late, great Bobby Knight.”
Another suggestion takes fans back to campus, to the fourth floor of the Wells Library. There, the school keeps the IU Archives, which serves as a compendium of the school’s history, including its rich athletic tradition.
“It traces all the way back to the very first year of Hoosier basketball 1901,” said Smith.