Larry Bird attends Springs Valley High School and leaves as the all-time scoring leader
In spite of his domestic woes, by the time he was a high school sophomore, Bird had become one of the better basketball players in French Lick.
He started for French Lick/West Baden's high school team, Springs Valley High School, where he left as the school's all-time scoring leader. Bird's high school coach, Jim Jones, was a key factor to Bird's success. "Jonesie", as Bird called him, would come help Bird and his friends practice any day of the week. Bird would always be in the gym early, shoot in between classes, and then stay late into the evening. He quit both football and baseball to focus on the sport he loved, basketball.
Two games into the junior-varsity season in his sophomore year at Springs Valley High School, Larry breaks his ankle. Unable to shake the basketball bug, he works on his shooting and passing while recuperating.
The 6' 3" Bird completes his first season on the varsity, averaging 16.0 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists and leading the Black Hawks to a 19-3 record.
As a 6' 7" senior, Bird averages 30.6 points, an astounding 20.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists as Springs Valley goes 21-4. Bird's high-school career ends with a 63-58 loss to Bedford in the regional final. Despite his numbers, Bird is only honorable mention all-state.
French Lick had a population of 2,059, most of whom came out to watch Springs Valley High home games. Attendance often reached 1,600-and they were all there to watch the blond-haired shooting whiz with a funny smile named Larry Joe Bird.
Following a sophomore season that was shortened by a broken ankle, Bird erupted as a junior. Springs Valley went 19-2 and young Larry became a local celebrity. Generous fans always seemed to be willing to give a ride to Bird's parents, who couldn't afford a car of their own. As a senior Bird became the school's all-time scoring champion. About 4,000 people attended his final home game.
His parents, Joe and Georgia , were a working class couple who raised Larry in the nearby town of French Lick. Although his family faced economic hardship throughout his childhood, Larry began to excel at basketball at an early age.
Larry attended Springs Valley High School in French Lick, where he starred on the basketball team, becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer by the time he graduated in 1974.