Clio Logo

Martinsville High School was where John Wooden's basketball career began. After his family had to leave Hall Indiana due to losing the farm, they decided to move to Martinsville. Here, he would grow up and find his love for the game of basketball. Throughout his time in high school, he proved to be one of the best out there and would eventually be recruited to play at Purdue University.


  • Martinsville High School Gymnasium
  • Martinsville High School Basketball Court
  • Official picture of the gym back in the 1920s

The small town of Martinsville supported the high school basketball team heavily. Like many other towns in Indiana, they took great pride and interest in basketball. Eventually, John would be known by many and had the support of everyone throughout his time in high school.

John turned out to be a great high school basketball player. John began high school here in 1925 and would go on to graduate in 1928. Throughout his time in high school, John led his team to three state championships in a row. Out of the three times they went to the championship, they won it twice. He was the high school’s star player and would end up getting recruited to play at Purdue University. The gymnasium is now in his name along with his signature on the court.

While in High School, he would meet the love of his life, Nellie Riley. The two decided to marry as soon as John finished college. According to John, it was love at first sight between the two.

John Wooden, April 27th 2018. Accessed November 26th 2019. https://www.achievement.org/achiever/john-wooden/.

Jamison, Steve . The Journey, January 1st 2019. Accessed December 1st 2019. http://www.coachwooden.com/the-journey.

SpinWeb. John Wooden, January 1st 2019. Accessed November 25th 2019. https://www.hoopshall.com/hall-of-fame-old/john-wooden/?back=HallofFame..

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martinsville_High_School_Gymnasium

https://section127.com/portfolio/mhs/

http://hoosierhistorylive.org/mail/2014-12-13.html