ESPN’s O’Neill: “Basketball Means More In Indiana”

Just started reading this and it takes a while, but it’s Dana O’Neil, and it’s about the value of basketball in the state of Indiana, so I didn’t have to get past the title and the byline to know you guys would want to read this. She’s about as good as there is at this sort of thing.


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  • No, Harvard. You can’t say that.

  • But I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

  • Laffy says:

    Excellent read….thanks for posting it.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    oops. Sorry. I actually took on a few paragraphs after the spontaneous combustion…I found it a bit boring(you the talking afterward).

    I wish the author could have found the guy with the hoop on the silo and simply dedicated the story to the singular more than the plural. Sometimes simplicity the approach makes for more depth. Let the reader build the bridges. Just my take.

  • Ron says:

    Thanks Dustin. She Nailed It.

    But Indiana route 50 needs to be traveled on a motorcycle to feel it’s essence

    Martinsville Gym. There last week watching a Junior High game. As a kid, it was enormous.

    Forkey’s. Breakfast there nearly every day.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    If you desire hoops just outside tacky, follow your nose to Mackey.

    If you seek the lore a brief inspiring tinkle, visit the museum of Mr. Hinkle.

    If you hear the call of banner basketball, you’re a Hoosier found Assembly Hall.

  • Ron says:

    Harvard I don’t think we can build bridges if I remember the Obama quote. Maybe it was just roads.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Dana Pennett O’Neil has been a sports writer with the Philadelphia Daily News for eight years. The beat writer for the Villanova men’s basketball team, she also is a backup reporter for the Philadelphia Eagles. During her time at the Daily News, O’Neil has covered various events including the Super Bowl, Final Four and World Series. A New Jersey native, O’Neil is a graduate of Penn State University.

    Anymore need be said? She’s pure Establishment. Covered Villanova hoops.

    They write this cutesy garbage, but inside they giggle and mock.

  • Good Lord Harvard… when you can’t read Dana O’Neil of all people on Earth without thinking “Heartless Establishment Hack,” then you’ve lost all touch with reality.
    She grew up in Philadelphia. There are good people there too. Seriously. Stop.
    Or for that matter, just read anything else she’s written. This is the sort of stuff that’s in her wheelhouse. These are the type of stories she always does, on the East Coast, on the West Coast. In the Midwest. Everywhere.

  • Punjab says:

    Phenomenal article, and a shout out to Marlin Elementery School. Played ball there many a time– even in college. Nothing like a bunch of 18-year old kids acting like they’re Michael Jordan- or rather, Harris Mujezinovich– on a full court with eight-foot rims built for third-graders. Actually, I think one end of the court was closer to nine feet. At 6-3, I still had to jump to dunk it.

    And does that footage from Nick’s ever get old?

  • Laffy says:

    I told ya HH was a bigot with a tinfoil hat…….

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    I was joking around, Dustin..Tossed you a Laffy biscuit.

    I’m going to go saddle my tractor now.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    For Dana Establishment.

  • Podunker says:

    The article was a tribute to people of Indiana and their love of basketball. I thought she did a great job, especially given that she’s from out of state.

    I remember my freshman year at IU (fall of 76). I made friends with numerous people from out of state. They really did not understand or appreciate hoosiers’ passion for BB. By the end of their freshman year they sure did. It’s contagious, especially the year after your school wins the NCAA Championship. I was blown away by the atmosphere watching my first game in Assembly Hall.

  • kurk81 says:

    Thanks for the link, Dustin. Makes me look forward to being at William Henry Harrison HS tonight to see my Raiders take on Noblesville. The Wooden mention made me think of my favorite retort to the local PU fans who brag about their all-time series lead vs. IU; we lead the series since Wooden was in high school. And since he graduated from PU, we lead the series comfortably. And since they stopped having a jump ball after each basket. It’s great to be alive and be in Indiana in the winter.

  • Larry says:

    kurk81, good luck to your Raiders, I’m here in Lafayette myself.n I live in a house that is divided here. Right now I have bragging rights but don’t say much about the results from the other night.

  • kurk81 says:

    I feel ya, Larry. My late Mom was a PU grad (class of ’49), my daughter is a soon-to-be IU student, but her boyfriend will be a PU student in a few months. The kid even owns a couple of PU shirts. Bought with my credit card.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    To quote a Penn State grad convert to the religion of Hoosier roundball, Good Lord Harvard!…Dustin is completely right (Tell me the truth, did you do this to call attention to Dustin??? Did you, Harvard? Are you now doubling as his straight man?).

    I went into the piece with skepticism (I so confess), wondering if the writer could/would capture the essence of US 50; and found myself thinking as I got drawn into the hills and curves and barns and fences of US 50, she’s nailed it…she’s nailed it! A beautiful, beautiful piece that evoked everything that is pure Hoosier and Indiana innocence. So much so that I began to think back on the beautiful memories of the fence in a farm in northern Indiana and your memories of your dad and his pride in the gate and the lights he installed in the driveway.

    For an instant I thought, I wonder if she somehow had read that particularly piece in Hoosier Scoop (not an outlandish idea if she follows basketball seriously and does as most good journalists would which is place her index in the artery than allows a reader to feel the palpitation and warmth and rushing blood of a Hoosier heart).

    I loved her imagery, even the fact that she did not go back to the silo with the basketball backboard and didn’t find the owner to interview him…it was right there and it said it all, it was what it is…and has always been and will always be. Yes, I could hear the crunch of the gold and red leaves carpeting the ground and smell the burning of leaves raked off the corner of the round ball court.

    You’re too good and too sensitive and too poetic Harvard to get caught up in the technical writing manuals…appreciate the fact that others see that same purity and envy us Hoosiers because it never goes away and because she knows what we know…you can only find it in one place in this entire Universe.

    So send Dana O’Neil a note…and just thank her for having discovered who we are… and where we live and why we love our Indiana.

  • Geoff says:

    Well said Tsao….

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