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Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum hopes to attract March Madness crowd

The museum behind the movie “Hoosiers” is inviting fans to experience Indiana basketball history
Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 3:14 PM EST
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MILAN, Ind. (FOX19) - As Indiana prepares to host a historic NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum wants in on the madness.

The museum, documenting what’s called the “number one sports story in Indiana history,” is expanding hours during March Madness, hoping to attract fans, teams, and those just passing through the state.

Located about 45 minutes west of Cincinnati, the museum preserves the memories of the 1954 Milan Indians (enrollment of 162) who defeated the Muncie Central Bearcats (enrollment of 1,662) to win the IHSAA boys’ basketball state championship.

The story and the town were the inspiration behind the 1986 movie “Hoosiers.”

“We have it all,” said Annette Geil, one of just two people who work at the museum. “The hospital scene, the uniforms, lots of photographs, Barbara Hersey’s coat. There’s just so much stuff to look at. You could spend hours in here if you want to.”

Each day, Geil says about 10 to 12 people stop in, spending about an hour going through the history.

“We’ve had people from all 50 states, China, Italy, Costa Rica,” said Geil. “I’ve had people weep because they are so moved by the story. Often, they give me more information that I had before.”

The museum’s hours during March Madness are Sundays 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. Admission is $5.

“We’ve put out invitations to all the athletic directors and coaches to try to bring their people by,” said Geil. ”It’s just such an incredible story.”

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