James makes Indiana hoop hall

Former BD coach earns well-deserved recognition


Tai Johnson

Former Ben Davis coach Mark James celebrates the 2017 Class 4A state title during a pep rally after the game. James today was announced as a member of the 2020 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Former Ben Davis boys basketball coach Mark James entered rare air today by being selected as a member of the 59th class to be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

James led Ben Davis to the 2017 Class 4A state championship and coached at Ben Davis for seven seasons before leaving two years ago to take over the Perry Meridian program.

“I have coached good players and been around good people,” James said of this honor. “That is the key.  The community of people you work with.  I have been very lucky in that regard.”

Known for wearing his trademark cowboy boots while coaching, James entered the 2019-20 season among the 20 winningest head coaches in Indiana high school basketball history.  Currently in his second season leading the Perry Meridian program, the 1973 Martinsville graduate began his head coaching career with three seasons at Covington.

From 1985-2010, he was a fixture as the head coach at Franklin Central, followed by seven seasons leading Ben Davis to successes including the 2017 4A IHSAA championship.  In all, James entered this season with 568 career wins, 13 sectional championships, two regional titles, six conference championships, five Marion County Coach of the Year awards, two Marion County championships, and numerous holiday tournament titles, including winning the 2009 Hall of Fame Classic.  He resides in Indianapolis and his Perry Meridian team hosts Pike tonight.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors made the announcement of the 2020 Mens Induction Class today. They will be honored on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Other members of the 2020 class include:

Name High School Graduation
Bill Berberian Thornton (IL) 1942
Wally Cox Broad Ripple 1954
Alan Darner * West Lafayette (OH) 1964
Ted Guzek * Hammond Morton 1954
Mark James Martinsville 1973
Lyndon Jones Marion 1987
John Lee New Castle 1960
Davage Minor * Gary Froebel 1941
Dick Nyers Indianapolis Manual 1952
Kirby Overman Carthage 1958
Bob Purkhiser * Bluffton 1961
Jerry Reynolds Springs Valley 1962
Ray Roesner * Holland 1953
Mark Siegel * Pike 1977
Terry Stotts Bloomington North 1976
Joe Sutter Marion 1969
Steve Yoder Plymouth 1958
Indiana Pacers Silver Medal
Jim Kessler Northwest (MO) 1966
Centennial Award
Paul White * Franklin 1920

* indicates deceased