This story is part of Indianapolis Monthly’s 2016 Indiana Bicentennial coverage, which includes our list of the 200 Hoosier Hall of Fame picks, designated throughout in bold or highlighted. For more on this celebration of the state’s first two centuries, click here.
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Guard/forward; Perry Meridian High, Purdue, Fever
Perhaps Indiana’s greatest contribution to women’s pro b-ball, Douglas helped Purdue to a national title in 1999 and then the Fever to a championship in 2012.
An all-time WNBA great, she led the Fever to three WNBA Finals, with a win in 2012, and is the league’s active leader in points, rebounds, assists, and steals.
Guard; Seeger High, Purdue, Fever
Named the top high-school and college player in the nation, with an NCAA title at Purdue, she guided the Fever to the Finals in her first season as the WNBA’s youngest head coach.
Guard; Washington High (South Bend), Notre Dame
With Diggins running the show, the Irish appeared in three straight Final Fours and two consecutive championships, and she’s now a top WNBA point guard.
Center; North Miami High, Notre Dame
After finishing college an NCAA champion and national player of the year, Riley was a dominant pro center, winning Finals MVP honors en route to two WNBA championships.
COACH – Lin Dunn
An outsized personality and proud Southerner, she notched her greatest successes here, leading Purdue to a Final Four and the Fever to two Finals—and the franchise’s only championship—in a career distinguished by 500-plus combined wins.
ASSISTANT COACH – Muffet McGraw
She’s amassed more than 700 NCAA wins in 28 seasons with the Irish—along with a national championship.
Guard, Crispus Attucks High
After leading Attucks to the first state title for an Indy school—and first in the nation for an all-black team—“the Big O” has NBA career averages equal to or exceeding those of Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Forward; Springs Valley High, Indiana State
The fascination with “The Hick from French Lick” helped Indiana’s rep as a cradle of b-ball talent. Of course, Bird’s three NBA titles and 1979 college showdown with Earvin “Magic” Johnson had something to do with that.
Hicks vs. Knicks. Eight points in 8.9 seconds. Spike Lee. Superman T-shirt. His clutch shots and theatrics made the Pacers NBA playoff contenders for nearly two decades. So what if he didn’t grow up here.
Forward/center; Washington High, IU, Pacers
This Mr. Basketball won a state title, led the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding, and dominated the ABA while scoring two championships.
Guard; Milan High, Butler
These other guys might run him off the court (though Plump did lead Milan to a win over Robertson’s squad). But his title-winning “shot heard ’round the world” inspired the greatest sports movie ever and established our old single-class tourney as a national treasure.
COACH – John Wooden
Martinsville High, Purdue (player)
In a uniform, Wooden won a high-school championship and was a three-time All-American in college—the foundation for a 29-year coaching career, 27 years of which were spent at UCLA, marked by an unprecedented 10 NCAA titles.
ASSISTANT COACH – Brad Stevens
DePauw (player); Butler
Because no one called Butler a “mid-major” again after he coached scrappy Bulldog squads to two straight NCAA finals. And because, really, would Bob Knight sit second to anyone?
BROADCASTER – Bobby Leonard
Terre Haute Gerstmeyer High, IU (player); Pacers
Think Hoosiers don’t have accents? Listen to “Slick” call a Pacers game on the radio. The Naismith Hall of Famer has spent 63 years around b-ball, including a 1953 NCAA championship with IU and three ABA titles as coach of the Pacers. “Boom, baby!”