A tale that could only be fantasized in a Disney production is taking place in Hartford City, IN.  Located in the northeast central portion of the state, this town of 6,000 suffered some very economic troubles.  As with many other communities, the decline in manufacturing opportunities and business closings caused many citizens to migrate elsewhere.  

The local high school (Blackford HS) suffered some grueling basketball seasons along the way as well.  From 2000-2016, Blackford only experienced one winning campaign while the last 3 seasons of that stretch went 1-69.  The fan-base was all but extinct and player moral at an all-time low.

Enter 83-year-old Jerry Hoover that applied for the coaching position at Blackford.  He was informed by the AD the position was filled but Mr. Hoover asked for a sit-down regardless.  Jerry felt he still had plenty of spring in his step and a lot of knowledge to offer the kids stating, “I’ve always said I’m gonna coach until I die”.  During his meeting, Jerry explained that his son wanted to come and coach with him and his son has a cousin, “That is really really good” said Blackford AD Tony Uggen.  Jerry Hoover wasn’t stretching the truth on this fairy tale this kid IS really good and his name is Luke Brown.

Luke Brown (class of 2021) is the fastest player in Indiana history to reach the 1,000-career point mark and is on pace to break the all-time scoring mark set by legend Damon Bailey.  He has a career scoring average of 32.2ppg as well as 7.1apg.  “I’ve always been a really hard worker since I was young. I’d have friends over just to hang-out with they’d want to eat lunch or something and I would tell them I’ve gotta go do ball-handling for 30 minutes while they were eating” said Luke Brown.  

The slipper has fit on this Cinderella story bringing a huge buzz of excitement to a community that needed a shot-in-the-arm.  Home games now sell-out quickly even if they’re playing on a Tuesday evening.  The team last season compiled a record of 14-9 Luke’s freshman season, 17-6 as a sophomore and are currently 8-2 ranked #7 in the state at 2A.  This made for TV real-life event story-line is still playing itself out and one that will be told for years-to-come.