Cliff Johnson Explores Indiana High School Basketball History

As a lifelong high school and college basketball fan, Cliff Johnson has made Indiana his summer destination for the past 17 years. He has spent many of those hours at the Indiana State Library. Cliff uses the State Library’s historical newspaper collection, school directories, and yearbooks to research Indiana high school basketball.

cliff at mackey arenaLiving in California, Cliff makes good use of his visits to Indiana.  He has spent many days looking deep into the glow of the microfilm readers. He also spends his time traveling to various parts of the state to interview former players and retired coaches.

Cliff is an active part of Indiana’s basketball heritage. He is a former high school and college player (Western H.S. and Purdue). He is the editor of Boxscore, the IndianaBoxscore header High School Basketball Historical Society’s publication. Of that same society he is the Vice President and board member. Cliff also serves as an Associate Director for the Indiana Basketball HOF, an author of various basketball stories & articles, and a self-proclaimed Sports Historian.

The focus of his new book is on Indiana high school basketball in the WW II years. This time period is of particular interest to him because it precedes Indiana’s “Golden Age of Basketball” (1947-69), and was a time in which the game barely survived, because of the war.

I wanted to take this time to congratulate Cliff on his recent accomplishment. It is inspiring to me to see someone follow their historical interests with such great passion.  If, like Cliff, your passion is sports, I invite you to visit the Indiana State Library to see our upcoming display on Indiana Sports, which will be up through the end of the year.

Cliff’s book, Indiana High School Basketball History, Team Rosters and Season Recaps for the WW II years:  A book of record (ISBN 978-0-692-53602-5), is available from Rowland Printing or the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

This blog post was written by Monique Howell, Indiana Collection Supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana Collection Division at (317) 232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at