Indiana State honors Bird with statue
Larry Bird has never been one for self-promotion, so the idea of having a 15-foot statue of himself standing on the campus of Indiana State University isn’t entirely comfortable for him.
He’ll gladly accept the honor, however, as a reminder of the good times he had in college when he led the Sycamores to the championship game of the NCAA tournament in 1979.
“This is obviously very special,” he said before Tuesday’s Pacer season-opener against Orlando at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “The college days started something very special for me.
“I had a lot of help in the classroom, with some teachers willing to take the time to help student-athletes. Then when it come to playing basketball you just try to improve your game every day and try to win every time you go out there. I had a good group of teammates. Everybody knew their role.
“They knew I was going to shoot it every time and they just had to rebound.”
That was a joke. Sort of. The statue does indeed show Bird preparing to take a shot.
The statue was unveiled in the Fieldhouse lobby Tuesday, but will go on permanent display at ISU the weekend of Nov. 8-9 when the Sycamore open their basketball season. A “scholarship dinner” will be held on the eighth, with about 1,000 people expected, followed by a ceremony that could draw as many as 5,000. Guests of honor will include Pacers owner Herb Simon; Pacers Vice-President Quinn Buckner, a teammate of Bird’s in Boston; Hall of Famer Bill Walton, another Boston teammate; and Bird’s high school coach, Jim Jones.
The statue dedication will take place on Nov. 9 at 11:30 a.m., followed by Indiana State’s game against Ball State.