As is very common in movies that are based on a true story, “Hoosiers” featured a number of completely fictional characters. These included Wilbur “Shooter” Flatch (Dennis Hopper), the town drunk who happens to be the father of one of Norman Dale’s Hickory High players. Wanting to give Shooter — a former Hickory standout himself — a second chance in life, Dale recruits him as his assistant, much to the town’s chagrin. Per Chasing the Frog, Milan High’s Marvin Wood had two assistants, Marc Combs and Clarence Kelly, and neither was the type to get lost in the sauce.

Similarly, “Hoosiers” invokes some romantic tropes by giving the unmarried Dale a love interest in Hickory High teacher Myra Fleener (Barbara Hershey). As Dale continues to annoy the basketball-crazy townspeople with his boring (yet effective) style of play, his questionable personnel decisions (see above), and his on-court temper tantrums, Myra remains firmly on the coach’s side, imploring the angry mob to give him another chance when they vote to have him fired. Great story, but again, she didn’t have any real-life equivalent — Wood was married with two children.

Interestingly, “Hoosiers” also features another feel-good moment where diminutive team manager Ollie (Wade Schenck) hits two game-winning free throws in the semifinal. Milan did have an Ollie as their manager, though Oliver Jones never saved the day with clutch charities as his fictional version did.

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