The movie “Hoosiers” is very popular this time of the year in Indiana. The gym where several scenes were filmed has also been very popular this month.
The teams in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament aren’t allowed to leave Indianapolis, but some of their fans and family members have made the 45-minute trip over to The Hoosier Gym in Knightstown.
Bob Garner, the event coordinator at The Hoosier Gym, gets to take them on tours while talking about the movie.
“We’ve had fans from at least 40 team out of the 64, and parents from the players who are in the tournament,” Garner said. “When you have someone from Seattle, Washington, or Spokane, or Oklahoma City, that comes in, and is walking around and is saying ‘yeah, my team is on the floor, that scene happened right there,’ those are the things that really get me excited.”
He says whether it’s out-of-town guests, or Hoosiers that come to visit throughout the year, the most popular place in the gym is the underground locker room.
“They talk about that visit to the locker room. I mean, it’s an old locker room from 1921, but they love that locker room,” Garner said.
There have been some changes to the gym they’ve had to make over the years, but for the most part, The Hoosier Gym is nearly identical to what it was like when they filmed scenes there in 1986.
“When you walk in here, if you don’t look at the scoreboard or the three-point line, you’ll think you’re standing in the movie.”
Garner says it never gets old seeing visitors take their first steps through the door of the gym and being “just…speechless.”
Not only has Garner been giving tours of The Hoosier Gym for six years, but he recently became an author. He wrote a book on the movie called “Hoosiers: Eleven Life Lessons.”
“People think Hoosiers is just a basketball movie, but it’s well beyond that,” Garner said.
Garner didn’t want to give away the entire book, but says one of the chapters is about second chances. His favorite life lesson the movie teaches is about redemption.
He also says sales of his book have exceeded expectations this month, as people continue to visit the iconic gym during March Madness.