1980 Broad Ripple champs pulling for Tech in title game
Arsenal Tech is on the verge of doing something no IPS school has done in 34 years. Broad Ripple was the last IPS team to win a state basketball title.
So it should come as no surprise that the paths of those two teams should cross this week.
Arsenal Tech has won 25 of their 27 games this season, but the 28th one is the one that has the entire city of Indianapolis excited.
"If they win, they will always remember it. If they lose, they will never forget it," Reggie Session remarked as we sat in folding chairs in the middle of the Broad Ripple High School basketball court.
Reggie Session should know. He is a member of the 1980 Broad Ripple team, the last IPS basketball team to win a state basketball title. In fact, the banner and the teams picture still hangs proudly above the court.
"It means everything. Before we won, it was Crispus Attucks in 1968. So '68 to '80. It's been '80 since anyone else has won it. It means a lot," he added.
Bobby Plump may have hit the shot Indiana is known for, but the Rockets launched themselves into the championship game with a now-legendary 57-foot buzzer beater by Stacey Toran.
"After that thing, the state game, we knew we were going to win," Kevin Tracy another team member remembered.
And they did.
The last IPS team to do so, which is why Arsenal Tech Coach Jason Delaney reached out to them this week.
"Their big message was, 'It will either be a night you remember or a night you'll never forget. So we want to make it a night to always remember" Delaney said.
"I just told them play like you been playing," Tracy noted.
"Just be in the moment. Just play your game and just win," Jeff Robinson, a third team member of the 1980 championship team told them.
"I still wear my ring, so I showed them my ring. I talked to them how every year it means a little bit more. 17-, 18- year olds, it's exciting. 40, 45, 50, you talk to the guys, every year it gets a little more special," Session remarked.
The 1980 state champs were inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame four years ago. The team that won as a team were inducted as a team.
"It was great to have them. They were so familiar with what we are doing because in 1980 they had done it," Delaney said.
So now these Broad Ripple Hall of Famers want to see another IPS team to pick up the mantle.
"We've had it for 34 years. It's time to pass the baton," Session said while his two teammates shook their heads in agreement.
Now the Rockets are hoping the Titans will keep it in the IPS family.
There is one thing the 1980 Rockets can lay claim to that the Titans cannot duplicate. Broad Ripple won the all-class title and will always be the last IPS team to do so.
Tech isn't only ones trying to end a drought this weekend.
Marquette Catholic (19-6), the first Michigan City school in the finals since 1966, meets Class 1A power Barr-Reeve (26-1) at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Park Tudor (23-4) faces Westview (23-4) in Class 2A, while Greensburg (27-1) and Bowman Academy (22-4) play in Class 3A.