You wouldn’t know it looking at the Twitter account for Hoosier Basketball magazine, which counts just a few hundred followers. But the annual print publication, now in its 47th year, is an Indiana institution. On Sunday, the man who built it into an institution, Garry Donna, passed away at the age of 73.
Here’s how Indianapolis Star high school basketball reporter Kyle Neddenriep frames the legacy of Donna, who purchased the magazine for $2,600 in 1970 from Tom Keating, a one-time Star columnist who had put out just a single issue:
The magazine came along at the perfect time. The framed covers, which lined Donna’s third-floor office, displayed the faces of stars such as Glenn Robinson, Steve Alford, Yogi Ferrell and many, many others through years. Earning a spot on the cover of Hoosier Basketball magazine was almost equal in Indiana to a Sports Illustrated cover.
But that was then and this is now. The website John Harrell’s Indiana High School Basketball tracks the same young-players information online. And when Donna handed over the reins of his publication last year to longtime colleague Kip Wesner, Courier-Times sports editor David Risley wondered if the publication was destined to, as the headline put it, “Go the Way of the 8-Track Tape Player.”
Donna was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. RIP.