Henry County, Indiana, where Draper is located, boasts a rich basketball heritage. Two former NBA players, Kent Benson and Steve Alford, played their high school basketball at New Castle High School. Kent spent eleven seasons in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers. Steve played for the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors. He is now the head basketball coach at the University of California-Los Angeles. Another New Castle High School graduate, Butch Joyner, played briefly for the Indiana Pacers when they were members of the American Basketball Association. All three starred at Indiana University in their college days.
New Castle High School is also the home of the largest high school gymnasium in the United States, seating 9300. The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, an excellent museum, is just down the street from the gym.
The old Knightstown High School gym was featured in the movie “Hoosiers.” It was the home court of the Hickory Huskers.
Draper is the largest manufacturer of gymnasium equipment for new schools and athletic facilities in the United States. We are located just a few miles from both New Castle and Knightstown. Many dealers and specifiers who come to see us also make it a point to visit the above venues.
Was basketball invented in Spiceland?
Most students of the game believe James Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891 while working at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. The University of Kansas disputes this claim and contends that Mr. Naismith invented the game while teaching there some time after 1898. In his book “Along the Banks of Brook Bezor” Spiceland’s resident historian, Richard Ratcliff, discusses a persistent rumor that James Naismith taught at the Spiceland Academy. Although we cannot prove it, we choose to believe that Mr. Naismith did teach here and had basketball on his mind, so basketball really was conceived in Spiceland.