Photo provided
Michael Broughton, first-year Games Director of the IndyStar Indiana All-Stars
Photo provided Michael Broughton, first-year Games Director of the IndyStar Indiana All-Stars

Now that the 1993 boys state-champion coach from Jeffersonville is beginning his first year as Games Director of the IndyStar Indiana All-Stars, he said he hopes this, too, turns into being a dream come true.

Michael Broughton, a 2012 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame inductee who compiled a 21-year high school varsity coaching record of 350-145, certainly has the necessary passion to handle his new role. 

(He also coached 8 years collegiately, as an assistant at Nebraska and then was head coach at Southern Nazarene compiling a 105-55 record and twice leading the Bethany, Okla., school into the NAIA National Tournament.)

“I’m passionate about ‘Our Game’… really passionate,’’ said Broughton. “We’ve been playing this (All-Star) game for 81 years and I’d like to see it last another 81 years,’’ said Broughton, 63. “I hope to remain in this role as long as my health remains good.”

“Once I got involved and got to meet people and see good gyms throughout the state, going to places I’ve never been in some cases, it gives you a different perspective…but the game of basketball in Indiana is still special and extremely special to me.’’

Broughton, who grew up in Hebron, Ind., where he played basketball and also coached a few years, has traveled four corners of the state since he was named to replace Charlie Hall, who retired after 10 seasons as the Games Director.

When he went into towns and schools, he told coaches he wants kids who play hard and play together, and represent Indiana well. His travels included seeing 40 girls and 40 boys in games and on video tape.

“So much enjoyment for me in what I’m doing,’’ Broughton said. “It feels good to be part of ‘Our Game’ again… And I also enjoy meeting people and seeing coaches coach.’’

Broughton, who maintains a condo with his wife in Seymour, also built a home in Hot Springs, Ark., last year. His plan was to retire as athletic director at Jennings County (after 11 years) anyway “But,’’ he said that when Steve Witty (IBCA Executive Director) offered him the Games Director role that he knew it was something he needed and wanted to do.

“I’m old school. I love tradition, and basketball is in my blood. I want to keep our tradition. And I want to do all I can to help preserve this great game of basketball.

“I want these kids (All-Stars) to know about the tradition…It’s important how the players perceive this, and I really want them to know just how important I perceive this. We want to have fun… and we want to WIN!’’ 

Broughton said that “10-12 years ago attendance for the All-Star games was rough. Charlie got it up, and I want to continue it. As an athletic director I worked hard to get people in the stands. I talk to people at schools throughout the state about the importance of supporting the All-Star games and being part of ‘Our Game’ at an early school age.

Broughton’s memories include seeing his first State Basketball Finals in 1964. That’s when Lafayette Jeff’s Denny Brady helped the Bronchos win it all under the great Marion Crawley. He also marveled over the play of Carmel Mr. Basketball Billy Shepherd in 1968.

“They were great representatives in the All-Star games, as well as fulfilling their roles as Mr. Basketball. I want kids to work hard like Denny and Billy, and I want this next generation to work hard to keep tradition going,’’ he said. “… I love for kids to feel pride and how fortunate they are to be able to play this great game and to represent our state.

“It’s a passion of mine to get as many young people in this game so they can dream more, even dream about being a Mr. Basketball or a Miss Basketball.’’

Broughton, who served as both an assistant and head college basketball coach, returned to Indiana in 2008. He believes that his coaching in college will serve him well to help the girls and boys in the All-Star games.

“The college thing is so different, and some things expected at the next level aren’t always fun, certainly not as fun (and rewarding) as many of the experiences in high school basketball can be. I want these kids to do what they do best and enjoy themselves.’’ 

One thing Broughton plans to add to the All-Star experience is to do interviews with the players, so that he and the coaching staffs can find out things about the kids as people, not just as basketball players.

“We hope that younger age kids and youth groups can benefit from this and the videos we plan to shoot. Our hope is that this will help us grow the game even more in the future,’’ Broughton said. 

Such an approach is passion at its best, folks — on and off the court!

-Mark Morrow, a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter, has resided in Hamilton County since 1989. You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317-460-8018.