Written by Sylvia Denice
Hoosier-famous for his role on the Crispus Attucks High School basketball team in the 1950s, the first ever all-African-American high school basketball team to earn an Indiana state title, Oscar Robertson is a consistently popular Famous Hoosier Wax Museum figure among students. “He was a great basketball player,” fourth-grader Adrion explained. Adrion played the role of Oscar Robertson in this year’s Famous Hoosier Wax Museum. Oscar Robertson moved on from Crispus Attucks to college and an NBA basketball career in Cincinnati. In 1980, Oscar Robertson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Adrion was inspired to research Oscar Robertson for his Wax Museum project because of their shared interest in basketball. “I wanted to act out Oscar Robertson as a basketball player,” he stated. Adrion recognized a gamut of skills he practiced and gained through the Famous Hoosier Wax Museum project, from interpersonal to presentation to research skills. “I felt like I did a great job. I was making eye contact, and I still remember my notes that I wrote down,” Adrion recalled.
Adrion revisited his project on Oscar Robertson in the midst of our classroom community celebration of Black History Month this February. Learning and education were evident in Adrion’s reflection on the experience, as he shared skills he was able to nurture and develop in the process. When asked what Black History Month means to him, Adrion emphasized there were “African-American people that used to not be able to go to schools, and now they can.” Adrion’s experience made it clear that the Famous Hoosier Wax Museum invoked invaluable insights beyond the state history in the social studies standards.