Indiana State to build on-campus statue of Larry Bird

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

The most famous basketball player ever from Indiana will have a statue crafted in his honor in his home state, at his alma mater.

Per multiple reports, Indiana State will unveil in November a statue of Larry Bird, who left the school in 1979 after bringing the team to the national championship game against Magic Johnson and Michigan State. In that season Bird was named college basketball's MVP.

The school will have a 15-foot statue of Bird unsheathed outside the Hulman Center, where ISU plays. The ceremony is set for the team's first home game of the season, Nov. 9 against Ball State. The school will also reportedly inaugurate the Larry Legend Scholarship, a fund that will help athletes from the state of Indiana.

Bird is now 56 and the president of the Indiana Pacers. He grew up in French Lick and briefly attended Indiana University, under Bobby Knight, before opting to transfer out and head to the lesser-known Sycamores.

"He was arguably one of the most important figures to attend ISU, both from a publicity perspective and from an athletic perspective," ISU athletic director Ron Prettyman told Terre Haute's Tribune-Star. "To honor him is something probably long overdue."

The event comes with an invitation to all of the members of that '79 team. And Magic Johnson, to boot. And here's a great anecdote from the Associated Press: "The idea of honoring Bird with a statue was spurred by dozens of ISU students who started the Larry Legend Foundation in 2005. The students wanted to pay tribute to Bird by having a statue taller than the statue of Johnson on the Michigan State campus."

That's a spirited bit of ambition from ISU students. Indiana State, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, went 18-15 last season.

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