HARTFORD CITY, Ind. – Small town Indiana basketball with a big game atmosphere.
Each night Blackford High plays in their home gym, a capacity crowd of about 3,500 shows up to watch.
“When you have the conversation of basketball, people go ‘How’s Blackford doing’, you’re enthusiastic about it,” says senior Nathan Brown. “We’re doing great this year.”
With a 14-4 record, the Bruins year is great by any standard, but especially so after recent years. Blackford won just one game in three seasons from 2015-2017.
“Very frustrating,” continues Brown. “It’s hard to see the support (in that situation). Your pride’s not up.”
But take a trip to Hartford City for a varsity boys game. You’ll quickly see that Blackford is long gone.
“Obviously going from 400 people to 4,000 (at a game) is insane,” says senior Andrew Beckley.
The insanity follows the state’s leading scorer this season, sophomore Luke Brown. Last week, Brown reached 1,000 points in his high school career in his 32nd game. That mark is seven games faster than Indiana’s all-time leading scorer, Damon Bailey.
“I’ve always been told that the work you put in, if you work really hard, you can do anything,” says Luke Brown.
One unique thing Luke has done is force Blackford to buy new scoreboards for its home gym. Apparently, old, wireless scoreboards work much better when 400 people attend games. Not so much with capacity crowds tweeting, texting, sharing, and streaming Indiana's latest basketball phenom.
"I thought it was pretty funny," smiled Brown. "I knew we had new scoreboards, but I didn't know that was the reason."
Just a sophomore, Brown's basketball legend has just begun, and health permitting, it should only grow over the next two years. He's already making a positive impact on the community off the court, and he's already hitting crazy shots on it.
— steve hurd (@ofchurd) January 12, 2019
Luke has set an historic scoring pace and captured the attention of a basketball-obsessed state. Even Governor Eric Holcomb came to watch him play this week. And with two full years left in his high school career, everyone has time to plan a trip to watch the next great Indiana high school scorer play.