When debating which city has the best basketball talent, Hoosier country has to be in the discussion. While other cities are still building their basketball identity, Indiana’s is set in stone. There are few cities with more basketball history, and that’s why it was mandatory to bring this year’s Red Bull Midnight Run to Naptown.
It’s no secret that basketball is played in its purest form in Indiana. While cities like New York and Chicago are known for flashy dribbling, high-flying dunks and fancy passes, Indiana basketball has always been more fundamentally sound.
“The game is played by the book in Indiana. No matter if it’s on the hardwood or the blacktop,” says John Hart, an Indiana native that played three years at Purdue. “There’s only one way to play the game of basketball out here, and that’s the right way.”
Although it’s not the most thrilling form of basketball, it’s almost always the most effective. Across the United States, coaches that struggle with flashy players who lack fundamentals often show them the movie Hoosiers to reintroduce them to the way basketball is supposed to be played. Whether it’s the city’s portrayal in feature films, the success of regional colleges, the impact of the local NBA team or simply the abundance of courts on city streets, Indiana basketball has built a significant reputation of being the golden child of the game.
It was evident that almost every top player in the Post Road Christian Church gym had a strong fundamental foundation. It’s almost as if ballers from Indiana are born with strong fundamentals. And if they aren’t born with it, then the backdoor cuts, off-ball screens and ball reversing habits are quickly instilled in young players.
“If you’re from Indiana, it’s almost like you have that coaches mentality already built in you, the city of Indianapolis is like your own personal coach,” Hart continued. “When playing with players from other cities growing up, I was always the one to set screens and preach good shot selection. I never knew how to play any other way.”
The talent in the gym was definitely high; it was among the best of the various Red Bull Midnight Run competitions. There was a great mix of high-flyers, pure shooters and smart players. With the proper balance in the final eight, there’s a strong chance that Indiana will make a run at the championship when the Finals come to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn this fall. If the other cities are expecting a pick-up game style of competition, they have another thing coming when they get on the court with these Indianapolis cats. If Indy can slow the game down and play the structured type of Hoosier basketball that the nation has almost grown to resent, they could walk away with this thing.
Which city produces the best basketball talent?
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