If you have ever been to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle it is a testament to the state’s love for this game, especially at the high school level. To be inducted you have to have a standout career at the high school level or be a successful coach over many years. My own coach, Basil Mawbey, was inducted a few years ago with two state championships and now 699 victories in his career.
Two be inducted you have to be out of high school for 25 years. On March 22, 2017 a pair of Boilermaker standouts will be inducted as part of the 2017 class:
Matt Waddell - 1990 - As a kid, I remember seeing Matt Waddell play in high school at nearby Tipton high school. They regularly played my Kokomo Wildkats and in 1989 he took Tipton on one of their farthest paths int he old one-class tournament. They won the Frankfort sectional and Frankfort regional before losing to Kokomo 57-50 at Mackey Arena in the morning session of the semi-state. Kokomo went on to win the night session before finishing as state runner-up a week later. Tipton would not even win a sectional again until 2001. Their 1989 regional crown was the school’s first since 1945.
Waddell set 12 school records at Tipton under HOF coach Larry Angle - including 1,677 career points, 674 assists, 576 rebounds and 332 steals - he averaged 32.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists as a senior, leading to selection as a 1990 Indiana All-Star.
Waddell went on to have a very successful four-year career at Purdue. He is currently 33rd in school history with 1,170 points. He hit over 40% from three for his career and he is still 6th in school hsitory with 460 career assists. He is one of just seven players with over 1,000 points and 400 assists, with the latest to join that club being E’Twaun Moore.
Glenn Robinson - 1991 - The Big Dog, perhaps the best playeyr in school history, gets in on the strength of his memorable high school career alone. His final high school game was quite memorable in this state because his Gary Roosevelt team faced off against Brebeuf and Alan Henderson. It was a Purdue-Indiana battle before they were Boilers and Hoosiers, respectively, much like the 2007 E’Twaun Moore-Eric Gordon battle.
Like Moore, Robinson won the battle. Roosevelt won 51-32 and Robinson had 45 total points that day between two games (they defeated Whitko in the morning semifinal). Robinson won the illustrious Mr. Basketball Award that year, but had to sit out his freshman season at Purdue due to academics. He was a two-time First Team All-State selection and scored 1,710 points.
Once he was on the court though... oh my. Robinson’s 1993-94 season is remembered as one of the most dominant in history of college basketball by an individual. Robinson is still 11th in scoring at Purdue with 1,706 points despite playing just two seasons. His 1,030 points in the 1993-94 season is by far the best individual scoring season in school history. He also added 344 rebounds (second most in a season in school history). He averaged 30.3 points and 10.1 rebounds in winning National Player of the Year honors. He was later the No. 1 overall draft pick and had a lengthy NBA career.
Going into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame is a great individual honor for their high school careers, but Purdue clearly reaped the benefits of both of them continuing their careers in West Lafayette.