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The Basketball Capital of Indiana

Appropriately enough, Washington is the capital.  You know Washington is the U-S capital, but I am going to make a case for Washington, Indiana as Indiana's basketball capital-- at least for 2013.  Here are my points-- partisanship aside-- to naming Indiana's Washington as 2013's basketball capital...

1.  Cody Zeller became the third and final Zeller to declare for the NBA.  His two brothers-- Luke and Tyler-- have also enjoyed some time in the NBA.  Luke's road was the toughest; he played at Notre Dame, but got overshadowed by a guy named Tyler Hansbrough.  He did stick it out though, and eventually was rewarded with some NBA time with the Phoenix Suns. 
       Tyler Zeller headed to North Carolina.  He was one of two southern Indiana players in the last decade to play in Chapel Hill-- Scott May's son Sean helped lead North Carolina to a 2005 NCAA title, and Zeller was a prominent player on some great North Carolina teams later in the 2000's.  Tyler Zeller's move to Tobacco Road was an example of the depth of the dark days of Indiana basketball in the late 2000's-- a period that was turned around in part with the signing of... Cody Zeller.  Zeller aided the resurgence of Indiana basketball-- both as a brand and as a great basketball team.  The Hoosiers made the Sweet 16 each of Zeller's two years, before he declared yesterday for the NBA draft. 

2.  Steve Alford's move from New Mexico to UCLA.  Alford has ties to Washington-- his father, Sam Alford, is a Washington native who moved on to Franklin College, then to Monroe City and South Knox, before eventually moving to Martinsville and to legendary coaching status at New Castle.  Alford's move to UCLA is another full circle move; THE UCLA coach-- The Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden-- is a Martinsville native.   Allford's place at New Mexico will be taken by....

3.  Washington High School standout Craig Neal.  Neal was Alford's top assistant at New Mexico, and a key component of the Lobos' success.  Neal also learned at the feet of a coaching master-- Bobby Cremins-- while playing at Georgia Tech.

There's my case for Washington as the capital-- of Indiana basketball in 2013.  Not bad for a town of 12,000 people.... Best of luck to the Zellers, Steve Alford, and Craig Neal.  May you keep this area in the headlines for a long time to come.

                                               That's my take... I'm Tom Lee.

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : IndianaMartinsvilleMonroe CityNew MexicoNorth CarolinaSouthern IndianaWashington
People : Bobby CreminsCody ZellerCraig NealJohn WoodenSam AlfordScott MaySeanSteve Alford

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04/11/2013 7:39AM
The Basketball Capital of Indiana
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