Rick Fox

The Gold Standard: How the movies -- past and present -- changed our lives

Fox didn’t just watch the iconic basketball film “Hoosiers,” he lived it.

The former NBA player, who won three world championships with the L.A. Lakers over a 14-year pro career, grew up in the Bahamas, which isn’t exactly a hoops hotbed. After moving to Indiana for high school, he found himself playing in basketball’s heaven — that region of the country where the movie took place. And with one of his teammates also co-starring in the David Anspaugh-directed pic, everything took on an even greater meaning.

” ‘Hoosiers’ has stayed in my life on many levels,” Fox explains. “I was this bright-eyed kid who had just gotten to town, and then they had the premiere there.”

The 1986 film, of course, is widely regarded as the definitive basketball movie in depicting not only small-town sports but the will of an underdog against bigger, and sometimes more talented, opponents.

“I remember being a part of that. It was very special. You had this opportunity to represent your town,” he recalls. “It was pure in that you were all really rooting for each other. Once you step out of the high school arena, you lose that sense of community.”

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