A $12,000 grant from the Efroymson Family Fund has been awarded for the historic film project at the Milan ‘54 Hoosiers Museum, said fundraiser Timothy Molinari.
The film project will include for the first ever individual interviews from all 11 surviving players from the 1954 Milan High School boys’ basketball state championship team. A new video will play in front of each player’s locker on demand in three separate 30-second presentations, providing each player’s unique experiences about growing up in Milan and, of course, basketball.
In addition, a 15- to 20-minute film will be produced that will play in the museum’s media room. Visitors will be able to view the new film sitting in school desks from the old Milan High School as the film “sets the table” for each person’s visit to the museum, according to Molinari.
“This is a project that we have wanted to do for a long time,” said Marianne Wiggers, president of Milan ‘54 Inc. “We want to get all this history recorded while all of these players are still with us. We would like to thank the Efroymson Family Fund for making these historically significant film projects possible. Future generations of historians and basketball enthusiasts will now always be able to hear first-hand from the players who did what was considered impossible.”
The Efroymson Fund is a donor-advised fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and continues a long legacy of charitable commitments by the Efroymson family. The fund was established in 1998 by Dan and Lori Efroymson to improve the quality of life for individuals and promote the vitality of communities. Since its inception, the fund has awarded more than $74 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in central Indiana and beyond.
Museum details • Before Indiana adopted the high school class basketball tournament system, teams from all sizes of schools competed against each other for that one coveted title - Indiana basketball champions. In 1954 the reign of the large Indiana high schools ended when the team from Milan High School (with an enrollment of just 161) defeated the Muncie Central team (with an enrollment of 1,662). A shot taken in the last moments brought the score to Milan 32-Muncie 30. Basketball enthusiasts from all over the United States cheered for the Milan Indians team and sent messages of congratulations. Thousands of fans gathered in the small town to watch as a huge parade brought the team back to town. • In 1986 the legendary game was made into the movie "Hoosiers" and the fan base for the Milan Indians team grew even more. Today people come from all over the United States and many other countries to see the Milan '54 Hoosiers Museum and re-live the David vs. Goliath event. • The museum is packed with items from the 1954 championship and is home to the Hoosiers Collection, which is the largest known collection of movie props and uniforms from the movie. In 2001 "Hoosiers" was placed into the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress as being "culturally or aesthetically significant" to American culture. • The museum, after a recent extensive expansion, is located in the historic former State Bank of Milan building, 201 W. Carr St. in downtown Milan. For more information, persons may visit www.Milan54.org.