On Tuesday, March 7th at 6 pm, the Jasper Public Library will be hosting a special presentation on Larry Bird and his high school basketball days. The presentation will be given by Randy Mills. One of the most amazing and undetailed aspects of the Larry Bird story involved the sudden and completely unexpected rise in the level of his play during his high school senior year season of 1973-1974. Mark Shaw, in his book, Larry Legend, noted that “Larry Bird appeared almost as if by magic. Somehow he catapulted from being a decent player his junior year to one of the finest high school seniors in Indiana history.” A fellow Blackhawk player also used the word “magic” to try and describe Larry Bird’s sudden out-of-nowhere freaky play. “I never saw him play like that before. It was like a magic wand had touched him.” Opposing coaches were just as dazzled by Larry’s amazing transformation. After Bird’s team beat a powerful Jasper basketball squad early in that breakout season, Jasper’s coach, Ed Schultheis, was simply astonished. “I couldn’t believe it was the same kid.”
Randy’s talk, with lots of photos from sports articles of the day, sets out to address this missing piece of Larry’s amazing basketball life. He will be sharing episodes of Larry playing against the Jasper Wildcats and some of the Jasper players on the 1972-1973 and 1973-1974 teams which included Mike Luegers, Terry Tucker, Stan Giesler, Tom Berger, Mike Keusch, Brad Voegerl, Art Wilmes, Jeff Bawel, Dave Weidenbenner, and Jeff Rohleder. This program will be in the Black Box Theatre in the Community Arts wing. Please enter door 11.