News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Top Story 2

November 3, 2013

The Bird Years: Small-town beginnings

Larry Legend's evolution began on French Lick courts

FRENCH LICK — Larry Bird is not the only small-town Hoosier basketball success story.

But his rise to legendary status makes his the biggest.

Bird’s ascension to stardom at Indiana State is the essence of what March Madness is today. He may have come out of nowhere in the minds of basketball fans around the nation, but those native to Southern Indiana’s Orange County and the surrounding area — and really any pride-filled Hoosier small town — would disagree.

While he is better known for thriving under pressure in his NCAA championship battle with Magic Johnson of Michigan State, or the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals showdowns of his pro years, Bird learned to excel on that stage while playing for rabid fans of the Springs Valley Blackhawks in French Lick.

Area filled with talent

Hardwood battles with larger rivals such as Washington and Jasper or tradition-rich Loogootee blended in with county rivals Orleans and Paoli each season. The challenging caliber of play in the area was evident as Bird improved year-to-year.

Facing talent like Orleans’ 6-foot-7 Curt Gillstrap and Milltown’s Dave Smith, both of whom earned scholarships to play for Louisville, Bird went from one of Springs Valley’s key players to the Blackhawks’ star who outshone Gillstrap in head-to-head battles as a senior.

And talented basketball players were also in Bird’s own family. Three years older than Larry, brother Mark Bird was known as a great shooter at Springs Valley. The oldest of the six Bird children, Mike, also played for coach Jim Jones, who would later coach Terre Haute North Vigo’s Patriots.

“That really provided him a tremendous amount of competition. He was very competitive, really had a will to win,” Jones said. “Those things just began with the brothers and carried on right through his career.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Story 2
  • MET 041314 PAINT PARTY.jpg Going purple: ‘Honoring those who are still fighting’ against cancer

    Every stroke of paint that touched the roadway had a profound meaning to a small group of painters on Sunday.

    April 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • Ukraine_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, April 8:

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • NCAA Kentucky UConn F_Tayl.jpg UConn wins NCAA title, 60-54, over Kentucky

    No conference wanted them. Several teammates and their coach left them. The NCAA wouldn’t have them.
    UConn won it all anyway.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV-Letterman Retiring_Ter .jpg Letterman’s departure will reshape late-night

    NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Fallon’s fast start replacing Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show the past two months had a secondary effect: David Letterman suddenly seemed old.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts Owner Arrested _Ter .jpg Police: Colts owner had $29K in cash when arrested

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle when he was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, according to a police arrest report.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysia Plane_Ter .jpg UPDATE: Relatives sob as Malaysia confirms plane is lost

    BEIJING (AP) — Relatives shrieked and sobbed uncontrollably. Men and women nearly collapsed, held up by loved ones. Their grief came pouring out after 17 days of waiting for definitive word on the fate of the passengers and crew of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Chicago Train_Ter .jpg Train derails, climbs escalator at Chicago airport

    CHICAGO (AP) — An eight-car Chicago commuter train plowed across a platform and scaled an escalator at an underground station at one of the nation’s busiest airports early today, injuring 32 people on board, officials said.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snohomish Mudslide_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Monday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, March 24:

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NYC Explosion_Ter .jpg Searchers scour rubble after blast kills 7

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rescuers working amid gusty winds, cold temperatures and billowing smoke pulled four additional bodies overnight from the rubble of two Manhattan apartment buildings, as the death toll rose today, to at least seven from a gas leak-triggered explosion.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Film Casting Jesus_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Friday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, March 7:

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • US Obama Ukraine Russ_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, March 4:

    March 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • 86th Academy Awards -_Ter (2).jpg ‘12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture at Oscars

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama “12 Years a Slave” best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards.

    March 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET030114swope shaffer.jpg VIDEO: Mardi Gras at the Swope

    Teresa Shaffer was handing out beads and masks at the Swope Art Museum's Mardi Gras celebration Saturday night. The event is an annual fundraiser for the downtown museum.

    March 1, 2014 2 Photos 1 Video

  • Married Priest_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Friday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 28:

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Planet Bonanza_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 27:

    February 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Backyard Gold Bonanza_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Wednesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 26:

    February 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obit Ramis_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Tuesday

    Harold Ramis, creator of comedy classics, dies at 69. The writer-director-actor created a hugely influential body of work, including such films as “Caddyshack,” “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day.”

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nets Lakers Basketbal_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Monday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 24:

    February 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Protests_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Friday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 21:

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 21 To Smoke_Morg (1).jpg Colorado, Utah move to hike smoking age to 21

    DENVER — Two Western states with some of the nation's lowest smoking rates are considering cracking down even more by raising the tobacco age to 21.

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Fallons First Nigh_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 18:

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Switzerland Plane Div_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Monday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 17:

    February 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama US France_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Wednesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 12:

    February 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economy_Morg.jpg U.S. employers add 113K jobs; rate dips to 6.6 pct.

    WASHINGTON — Hiring was surprisingly weak in January for the second straight month, likely renewing concern that the U.S. economy might be slowing after a strong finish last year.

    February 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Sochi Olympic_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 6:

    February 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET020514snowzimmerman.jpg Vigo schools on 2-hour delay Thursday

    Vigo County students will be back to school Thursday.
    According to Vigo County School Corp. Superintendent Danny Tanoos, schools will be on a two-hour delay on Thursday.
    Due to inclement weather, schools were canceled today in Vigo and surrounding counties.

    February 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • CVS Caremark Tobacco _Ter .jpg Obama praises CVS for pulling tobacco from shelves

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is praising CVS Caremark for its decision to stop selling tobacco products at its drugstores.

    February 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Winter Weather NYC 10 things to know for Wednesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 5:

    February 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 020414 HEAVY SNOWFALL.jpg Here we snow again: More winter weather hits the Wabash Valley

    Police and rescue workers were busy Tuesday night responding to crashes and slide-offs in the wake of another big snowfall in the Wabash Valley.

    February 5, 2014 2 Photos 2 Stories

  • Winter Weather Pennsy_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 4:

    February 4, 2014 1 Photo

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Urinator Causes Portland to Flush Reservoir Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees Pope's Relic on Wheels Departs to Rome Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes
NDN Video
Florida State Ends Top Of the 5th With Bizarre Play vs Jacksonville | ACC Must See Moment Kate Upton Loves Her Body, Every Part Of It Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity