Knight, Keady, Bryant, City of Anderson Named Pacers' Hickory Night Honorees
2020 IHSAA Girls, Boys Champions Also Will Be Recognized
INDIANAPOLIS – Coaching legends Bob Knight and Gene Keady, 1953 Indiana Mr. Basketball and Harlem Globetrotter ambassador Hallie Bryant, the city and high schools of Anderson and the eight boys and girls 2020 Indiana High School Athletic Association state champions will be the Indiana Pacers' Hickory Night honorees for the 2019-20 season.
The Pacers will wear white Nike Hardwood Classic Hickory jerseys on the Hickory Nights at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as well as road games at Atlanta January 4 and at the Los Angeles Lakers April 1. The uniforms are a modern take on the uniforms of Hickory High as worn in the 1987 cinematic classic Hoosiers. This will be the fifth season of Pacers Hickory Nights recognizing legendary Indiana teams, coaches, players and cities while commemorating Hoosiers, the Academy Award-winning movie considered one of the best sports films of all time.
Previous honorees have included Crawfordsville, the birthplace of Indiana basketball and New Castle, home to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame; Indiana high school's all-time leading boys scorer Damon Bailey; Indiana's first Miss Basketball Judi Warren and state championship teams from Marion, Indianapolis Crispus Attucks, Indianapolis Washington, Muncie Central and Milan, whose 1954 state title inspired the film, and coaching icons Bobby "Slick" Leonard, John Wooden, Tony Hinkle, Jack Butcher of Loogootee, J.R. Holmes of Bloomington South, Jack Keefer of Lawrence North and Donna Cheatham of Scottsburg.
Dates for this year's Hickory Nights and the honorees are:
- Saturday, Nov. 23 vs. Orlando: Hallie Bryant, 1953 Indiana Mr. Basketball from Indianapolis Crispus Attucks. Bryant went on to star at Indiana University under Coach Branch McCracken, leading the Hoosiers to the 1957 Big Ten championship. Following a two-year stretch as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, Hallie joined the Harlem Globetrotters, where he spent the next 27 years entertaining fans, visiting 87 countries in 13 years as a player, and then continued his relationship with the organization as an official spokesperson and director of team personnel. Bryant, who lives in Indianapolis, still serves as a motivational speaker and author. In 2009, Hallie was honored by the Globetrotters as one of its "Legends."
- Monday, Dec. 23 vs. Toronto: The city and high schools of Anderson. One of Indiana's most passionate basketball hotbeds and home to the famous "Wigwam" gymnasium, the three high schools, Anderson, Highland and Madison Heights (since closed) have produced 30 Indiana All-Stars, five Mr. Basketballs (Johnny Wilson, Roy Taylor, Troy Lewis, Maurice "Kojak" Fuller, Ray Tolbert) and 16 inductees into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, including famed coaches Norm Held, Everett Case, Ray Estes and Phil Buck.
- Saturday, Feb. 8 vs. New Orleans: Fox Sports Indiana's "Basketball Day in Indiana" will have a fitting Hickory Night conclusion honoring the fabled former coaches of Indiana and Purdue, Bob Knight and Gene Keady. Knight's legendary coaching career at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech produced 902 victories, 11 Big Ten titles and three national championships at IU and the last team to go unbeaten, the '76 Hoosiers. Knight also coach the 1984 U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal. He is the winningest coach in Big Ten history. Keady is second on winningest list and was Big Ten coach of the year seven times, winning six Big Ten championships in his tenure and amassing 550 wins at Purdue and Western Kentucky. Find Tickets »
- Saturday, April 11 vs. Orlando: As in previous years, the final Pacers Hickory night of the season will recognize the reigning eight girls and boys IHSAA champions, who also will be honored with the placement of championship banners in the Entry Pavilion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »
"We are once again delighted to bring Pacers Hickory recognition to individuals and teams who are part of the unmatched legend and lore of Indiana basketball," said Todd Taylor, chief marketing officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. "Our Hickory nights, as well as our Pacers Hickory apparel, have resonated with our fans."
Fans can learn more about Hickory and secure tickets to Hickory Nights and all other Pacers home games at Pacers.com/Hickory.