Basketball is a legendary sport throughout the state of Indiana. Kids grow up playing just about anywhere and everywhere. You see hoops attached to trees, on the sides of buildings or even inside barns.
In the town of Mulberry in Clinton county, Dale Newhart’s grandpa put a hoop in the hayloft when he was a kid. The court isn’t in great shape anymore, but he still enjoys playing there from time to time.
“The only word I can really say to describe it, it’s pretty surreal,” said Newhart. “I can’t thank my grandpa enough for putting that goal up because when the weather was crappy, if it was snowing, raining, we would come up here and still be able to play some ball.”
Barn ball is alive and well across the Hoosier state. At the Dandy Breeze Dairy Farm in Sheridan, there’s still a hoop in the hayloft of the 100 year old barn, too.
“We would bale hay all through the summer. It’s what you’d do, noon until 6 p.m. You’d be up here. You’d be shooting while you’re unloading. And in between the wagons, you’d play H-O-R-S-E to determine who’s getting out of the hay mound and unload the wagon,” said Garrett Gossard.
Glen Canfield, 87, of Frankton in Madison county has an entire gymnasium in his hayloft. Players have been coming there for generations. The Frankton High School team that reached the state championship game still plays there sometimes.
“I’m glad to see boys come out here and play. I’m glad to see them use this,” said Canfield. “It’s just a nice place to play.”
“If I could go up (in the hayloft) and play two to three hours, I’d rather do that than play in a state championship,” said Duane Canfield. “There was something about playing up here.”
The rules of the court may be different, but the game is still a Hoosier tradition. And for some, barns seem to be made for Indiana basketball.