On game night, 15,000 fans packed the stands. The teams were so well matched they were eventually tied 30-30 with 18 seconds left on the clock. Milan's Bobby Plump held the ball as the clock ran down to five seconds. Then he sprung into action. With three seconds remaining, he drove a jump shot home. It never even touched the rim. But the victory was bigger than basketball for this team of farm kids. Seventeen of the Milan senior class of 30 went on to college that year, including nine of the 12 players. As one recalled, "winning that game made us realize we could do things we never thought were possible."
The 1986 motion picture Hoosiers starring Gene Hackman was only loosely based on Milan's David and Goliath victory. But parts of it were accurate. This inspiring short clip shows how the team prayed before the big game. www.youtube.com/watch?v=
But the movie omitted the biggest lesson of the Milan miracle. When the team came home the next day, their win was celebrated with a giant bonfire. Several people gave speeches, and then Coach Wood's wife shared a benediction which should be on every Indiana license plate. She reminded the team, "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."