As basketball fans converge on Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament, the city is recognizing legendary coach and Hoosier native John Wooden with a new public art display downtown.
The sculpture at the corner of Georgia and Meridian streets depicts Wooden crouched down on the court surrounded by the legs of players, each wearing a shoe from a different era that he coached.
The coach's contributions to basketball and his virtues as a leader were recognized at Friday's unveiling ceremony.
"Obviously, he had character and integrity that showed through all of the time," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "His love of life and his love of the game, but his love really of teaching young men the right way live."
The sculpture is a gift from the Super Bowl Host Committee and a group of donors.
"To find the subject of John Wooden, who, of course, is about sports, even if it's not football, it's really about character, and he sort of exemplifies the best of the Hoosier culture," said Mark Miles with the Super Bowl Host Committee. "We thought it was perfect."
Wooden played for Martinsville High School, leading the team to three consecutive state championship finals. At Purdue University, he led the boilermakers to the 1932 national championship.
Wooden went on to coach for Indiana State and later UCLA, where he won 10 NCAA national championships.
Wooden died in 2010 at the age of 99. His daughter attended Friday's unveiling and said her father would be proud.
"He would be very humbled by it and say, 'I don't deserve this," said Nan Wooden. "But it's wonderful and I am enjoying it."
Copyright Copyright 2012 by
All rights reserved.
This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.