As big a basketball fan as I am, it shouldn't be the case that I occasionally forget that one of the greatest players the sport has ever known grew up just 85 miles away.

But once you visit French Lick IN, you will never forget. NBA legend Larry Bird was a Hoosier hoops superstar from the get-go, averaging 31 points, 21 rebounds, and four assists during his senior year at Springs Valley High School. And while he didn't actually PLAY for the Indiana Hoosiers, he became a primary role-player in one of the most important college basketball games in history as a forward for Indiana State University in Terre Haute.

While UCLA's unprecedented run of 10 national titles from the mid-60s through the mid-70s put college basketball on the map, it was that Indiana State/Michigan State championship matchup that did the same thing for the NCAA Tournament.

Of course, basketball is a team sport, but few remember much else about that game outside of Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson. That friendly rivalry would continue in the pros, with Bird on the floor for the Boston Celtics and Johnson making "magic" for the arch rival Los Angeles Lakers.

What We Know About the Larry Bird Museum and Who's Attending

The Larry Bird Museum was scheduled to open in 2023, but has now been pushed back to May of 2024, to accommodate Bird's availability. But what about the availability of the other guy? I mean, Magic Johnson HAS to be there, right?

What a very exciting time for Indiana, Terre Haute, and Indiana State basketball. The Sycamores, while just missing out on the NCAA Tournament (they should've gotten a bid), have played their way into the NIT Final Four.

And now, we're just weeks away from a museum that will celebrate arguably the greatest baller to ever come from the Hoosier State.

[SOURCE: WTHI-TV/Terre Haute]

LOOK: Richest billionaires in Indiana

Stacker compiled a list of richest billionaires in Indiana using data from Forbes.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

LOOK: Best high schools for sports in Indiana

Stacker compiled a list of the best high schools for sports in Indiana using data from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Stacker