Written by: Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star
INDIANAPOLIS — Dan Wakefield sits in his living room, actually, a lot of the time he stands, paces and then drops to his knees when a bucket falls in for the Miami Heat. Sometimes, he has to lean on the mantle over his fireplace when the game gets too intense.
He wears a Miami jersey or T-shirt, eats pizza, drinks Coke Zero and is cheering as fiercely as anyone for the Heat to cream the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
And he’s doing it inside Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ old house.
Wakefield, 88, took his usual spot Wednesday inside his home on Northview Avenue as the Heat took a 3-1 lead, much to his delight. He’s been rooting for the team since 1995 when he moved to Miami to teach at Florida International University’s graduate writing program.
The author of five novels and 11 nonfiction books, Wakefield is an Indianapolis native and acclaimed writer. He was one of Kurt Vonnegut’s best friends and went to high school with Richard Lugar.
His best-selling book, “Going All The Way,” about coming of age in Indianapolis was made into a movie. So was Wakefield’s 1973 novel, “Starting Over,” starring Burt Reynolds.
But his wordsmithing, Wakefield said, only began because he loved basketball and was too slow to play.
So, he started writing about the sport. And then he made a career of writing, leaving Indianapolis for 57 years, and spending nearly 15 of those in Miami through the team’s heyday in the late 1990s into the 2000s…