Campus Corner

Sculpture of James Naismith installed Wednesday on KU campus

James Naismith statue installed at KU's DeBruce Center

A bronze sculpture of James Naismith, who wrote the original rules to basketball, now sits outside the nearly-finished DeBruce Center which will house Naismith's handwritten rules of the game. The work was started by Eldon Tefft who died in 2015,
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A bronze sculpture of James Naismith, who wrote the original rules to basketball, now sits outside the nearly-finished DeBruce Center which will house Naismith's handwritten rules of the game. The work was started by Eldon Tefft who died in 2015,

A bronze sculpture of James Naismith was installed Wednesday at the DeBruce Center, which is scheduled to open this spring, on the University of Kansas campus.

The DeBruce Center will house Naismith’s original 13 “Basket Ball” rules, which he wrote in 1892.

The sculpture was installed at the northeast corner of the building. Here are some facts about the statue, according to a news release from the KU Endowment.

▪ The sculpture is slightly larger than life-size. Naismith is depicted in a seated pose; the statue is 57 inches tall and weighs about 322 pounds.

▪ Lawrence sculptor and KU professor emeritus Elden Tefft created the sculpture and was working on it when he died in 2015 at 95. After his death, his son, Kim Tefft, completed production.

▪ The elder Tefft worked from photographs of Naismith to capture his likeness. The release said Tefft wanted a sculpture that people could interact with, sit beside and be photographed with.

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