Glenn Ray Gymnasium - Whiteland Warriors
Photos by Marc Viquez Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.25
Glenn Ray Gymnasium 300 Main St. Whiteland, IN 46184
Year Opened: 1958 Capacity: 4,649
Whiteland’s Home for High School Hoops
When the Glenn Ray Gym opened in 1958, it was known as the Whiteland Gym and sat 4,649, making it easily the largest high school basketball gym in Johnson County. The gym was built before the new high school building and constructed for sectional tournament play. The home of the Whiteland Community High School Warriors cost around $500,000.
In 1965, Clark High School and Whiteland High School united to form one high school, Whiteland Community High School. That same year the building was renamed in honor of long-time coach, teacher, and principal Glenn Ray during a half-time ceremony. Ray had a 43-year connection with the school.
During the summer of 1979, ventilation grids, a drop ceiling, and insulation were added to cut heating costs to the tune of $115,737. The hangar-like ceiling was now covered, but construction costs were recouped a few months later due to improved heating bills. The renovations also included re-wiring and hanging of lights along with a new sound system.
The Warriors have competed in the Mid-State Conference of the IHSAA since 1968 and have captured conference championships in 1979, 1993, and 2002. The team competed in the Mid-Hoosier Conference from 1965-1968. The school adopted its current nickname in 1939 and was previously known as the Wrens.
Food & Beverage 3
There is a double-sided concession stand located outside the entrance to the gym. The options include the usual: hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, candy, and soda. The extra-large windows provide better service and are enough to satisfy any hunger for the fans. The average price ranges between $2-$3.
The Glenn Ray Gym is a sneaking-good venue for high school hoops in the Indianapolis area. The wrap-around concourse, pre-game promotions, and community involvement make a great night out for the basketball fan. The framed pictures of past basketball glory and teams make this a gym worth visiting during winter months.
Glenn Ray Gym allows fans to enter via courtside and make their way up the permanent grandstand seating that envelopes the seating bowl. A wide concourse wraps around the upper level, providing standing-room-only areas when applicable. The drop-down ceiling is almost reachable with a stretch of the hand and offers various vantage points of the court 14-rows below.
The interior is white with blue bleachers, the way it has always been, according to former head coach and athletic director Butch Zike, who states that there is no better high school gym in the state. He helped add a collection of framed photographs and portraits to the vomitorium that had remained hidden in boxes for decades in a storage closet. The photographs date back to 1904 and illustrate a history of the sport in Whiteland.
"The Glenn Ray Gym is a sneaking-good venue for high school hoops in the Indianapolis area."
Multiple banners are hanging from the rafters of the gym that display championships won in various high school sports. They include titles from the Johnson County tournament, a tradition for many years. The court features an oversized Native American head with plenty of room for movement on all four sides for players, cheerleaders, spectators, and officials.
The student cheer block welcomes the team through one of the entrances with the Atlanta Braves-style tomahawk chant under dimmed lights. The school band sits close, providing music during the ceremonies and throughout the game. Cheerleaders entertain the crowd throughout breaks. Tip-off takes place at the center court above an oversized school logo.
The high school is on US-31 and close to various chain restaurants and retail shopping points. El Abuelo and Kacey’s Twin Eatery are two spots in town worth checking out, but just 4 or 5 miles north is downtown Greenwood which includes Hoosier and Planetary Brewing Company, which are across the street from one another.
HBC offers chicken wings and pizza by the slice and an ax-throwing area where the axes replace the darts on the board. Main Street Grille and Revery are two fine eating establishments worth checking out.
A few miles away from the high school is a rather interesting tourist spot that is open all day and free of charge to visit. The Garden Of Gas Station Signs is a collection of 36 gas station signs from the past that makes for an interesting little spot in Whiteland to visit before or after the game. Rascals Fun Zone features a 1,000-foot track, blaster boats, and an 18-hole mini-golf course of US-31.
There is a nice collection of fans cheering on the Warriors, from fans in the seating bowl to the rowdy student sections that did their best to compete with their rivals who brought in a group of students as well. These types of games are rather exciting since the school spirit is strong, and even though the away club dominated from the start, school pride was evident.
Glenn Ray Gym is located on US-31 and 3 miles west of the Whiteland exit off of I-65. There is plenty of parking on the school’s campus, and the gym is easy enough to get around once inside. The only thing a visitor needs to do is locate the high school on GPS, and they will find the basketball gym. Once inside the gym, there is plenty of room to move around on the wrap-around concourse at the top of the 14 rows of seats and at the bottom around the court itself.
Return on Investment 3
The price of a ticket is $6 and falls in line with other high school gyms in the state. The cost of a hot dog is $3, and nachos are $3, also in line with other high school gyms.
Glenn Ray Gym earns a point for its visual display of team memorabilia that includes photos dating back to the early part of the 20th century. The gym provides more history with an area dedicated to alumnus Ray Crowe who captained two Wrens teams from 1934-1936. Later, he would coach Crispus Attucks High School to back-to-back state titles in 1955 and 1956, the first state undefeated team, with a teenage Oscar Robertson as his center.
The gym earns a second point for its low ceiling, which gives the venue a distinct look from other buildings for hoops. The gym had high arched ceilings until renovations in August of 1979.
The final point is for the hallway that displays every student-athlete college they attended after playing in Whiteland. The large display near the entrance is something not normally seen at other high schools in Indiana.
The Glenn Ray Gym is a sneaking-good place for high school hoops in the Indianapolis area. The wrap-around concourse, memorabilia, and community involvement make a great night out for the basketball fan. The framed pictures of past basketball glory and teams make this a gym worth visiting during cold winter months.