Larry Bird to become a permanent part of Terre Haute
ISU will welcome the NBA all-star in November by dedicating a commemorative statue
Published: Friday, July 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 1, 2013 16:08
When Indiana State University unveils a statue in Larry Bird’s name this fall, the basketball icon will be in town to accept the honor.
On Nov. 8, the university will hold a scholarship dinner and then dedicate a 15-foot bronze statue to Bird on the Hulman Center’s south side the following day.
The ceremony is part of a celebratory weekend, six years in the making.
In 2005, several Indiana State students along with Brad Fenton established the Larry Legend Foundation. Planning for Bird’s statue began in 2007 as part of an initiative to commemorate his time with the university.
Completed by Terre Haute artist Bill Wolfe, the sculpture will stands three feet higher than Magic Johnson’s statue outside the Breslin Center at Michigan State University. Wolf said the height difference perpetuates the two players’ famous rivalry.
“I’ve known the rivalry, and we had to make [Bird’s] bigger. [Bird] was better, anyway,” Wolfe told the Indiana Statesman in April.
Bird played Indiana State’s basketball team from 1976-1979. Although he was recruited by the Boston Celtics in 1978, he returned for his senior year, leading the Sycamores to their first division I NCAA tournament.
After three seasons with ISU, Bird was a summer Olympian, NBA player with the Boston Celtics and coach for the Indiana Pacers.
Ron Prettyman, director of ISU athletics, said Bird’s appearance will be a positive event and opportunity for the university.
Bird was “arguably one of the most important figures to attend ISU, both from a publicity perspective and from an athletic perspective,” Prettyman said. “To honor him is something probably long overdue.”
For more information about the event, visit indstate.edu/larrybird.