Never will The Legends Golf Club in Franklin be more aptly named than on Saturday.
The Legends of Indiana Basketball Golf Classic is an opportunity for the public to meet and swap stories with hardwood greats such as former Indiana Mr. Basketball recipients Bobby Plump, Kent Benson and Jumpin’ Johnny Wilson.
The lengthy scroll of dignitaries includes three of the Hickory Huskers players from the 1986 movie “Hoosiers” — including Whiteland resident Brad Long, who played flat-topped defensive specialist Buddy Walker.
“I went to the one last year. It’s an event that’s growing and is pretty cool,” said Long, a 1981 Center Grove graduate whose father, Gary, played the role of the Jasper coach in the movie. “It’s just the camaraderie and getting to see some of the guys I looked up to while growing up.”
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Proceeds from the 18-hole scramble tournament go toward The Indiana Class Basketball All-Star Classic, a showcase for the state’s girls and boys players conducted each June at Anderson University.
Benson, Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 1973 who starred at Indiana University for coach Bob Knight from 1973-77, is chairman/founder of the Legends of Indiana Basketball Golf Classic.
“The thing that people can look forward to is playing golf on one of the best golf courses in the Midwest,” Benson said. “Besides the golfing there are close to 30 legends of Indiana basketball. We want the public to come and meet these great legends.
“There’s nothing else like this in Indiana, and that’s sad. These former players have brought great entertainment and great pride to the state of Indiana.”
The initial Legends of Indiana Basketball Golf Classic was conducted in 2014 at Grandview Golf Course in Anderson. Maple Creek Golf and Country Club in Indianapolis hosted the event last summer.
It now moves to Johnson County for the first time.
Ted Bishop, general manager of The Legends Golf Club and the 38th President of the PGA of America, is an executive board member of the Legends of Indiana Golf Classic.
Jerry Nichols, a 1971 Indiana All-Star from Greenwood Community High School who played at Purdue University, attended each of the previous two golf events and looks forward to Saturday.
“One of the things for us as former athletes is we get a chance to talk about the old times and even meet some of the legends for the first time,” Nichols said. “The golf is a lot of fun, too. I would say maybe half of the legends will end up playing.
“It’s just a fun day overall.”
There are currently 20 foursomes signed up to play in the scramble format event. Those interested in playing can sign up as late as 30 minutes before the 1 p.m. shotgun start.
If You Go
What: Legends of Indiana Basketball Golf Classic
Where: The Legends Golf Club, Franklin
Cost: $125 per person or $500 per team
Registration: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Legends autographs: 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Shotgun start: 1 p.m.
Dinner: 6:30 p.m.
Notable attendees: Kent Benson (1973 Mr. Basketball, New Castle High School), Steve Hollar (Rade in “Hoosiers”), Frank Kendrick (1970 Indiana All-Star, Tech High School), Brad Long (Buddy in “Hoosiers”), Jerry Nichols (1971 Indiana All-Star, Greenwood Community High School), Bobby Plump (1954 Mr. Basketball, Milan High School), Maris Valainis (Jimmy in “Hoosiers”), Bobby Wilkerson (1972 Indiana All-Star, Anderson Madison Heights High School), Jumpin’ Johnny Wilson (1946 Mr. Basketball, Anderson High School).