WATCH: The process of sculpting Dr. James Naismith for Kansas’ DeBruce Center

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With the University of Kansas working to complete the DeBruce Center, a project that will (among many things) house Dr. James Naismith’s original “Rules of Basket Ball,” a statue of the founder of the sport will also be on display in front of the building. Elden Tefft was entrusted with the task of completing this aspect of the project, as he was both a sculptor and professor at KU.

Sadly Tefft passed away in mid-February before he could complete the project he had designs on beginning well before anyone considered building the DeBruce Center. According to Nick Krug of the Lawrence Journal-World making a statue of Dr. Naismith is something Tefft has wanted to do since the early 2000’s, and with his passing Tefft’s son Kim Tefft has been hard at work to complete the project he and his father began long ago.

“That building is being designed as a destination point, so there will be a lot of people that will come to see that, not just at basketball game time,” Tefft said. “My father wanted a piece that would carry itself in an outdoor environment. At the same time he wanted something intimate enough that people could interact with it, sit beside it and get their pictures taken with it. I think it will have a strong draw that way.”

Below is the video that accompanied Krug’s story on the project, and the hope is that the DeBruce Center will be completed in time for the start of the 2015-16 season.

Kansas to begin building home for Dr. James Naismith’s ‘Rules of Basket Ball’ May 2

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In 2010 Dr. James Naismith’s original rules of basketball were auctioned off, with Kansas alumnus David Booth paying more than $4.3 million for the two-page document that’s the basis for the game we love today. And given the amount of money Booth and his wife Suzanne shelled out for the rules, there was a need for a home to preserve the “Rules of Basket Ball.”

Kansas announced plans for a display to be built at the northeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse, and on Friday it was reported by the Lawrence Journal-World that groundbreaking for the new facility will take place May 2.

The facility, to be named the DeBruce Center in honor of Kansas alumni Paul and Katherine DeBruce (they gave the monetary gift that made this possible), will house not only the rules but also other amenities Jayhawk players and fans will be able to take advantage of.

The building will also consist of a 320-seat student activity center, which will include retail dining, cafe seating, a new training table setting for both the KU men’s and women’s basketball teams and a catered event space.

There will also be exhibits for both Dr. Naismith and Phog Allen, the great coach for whom the Fieldhouse is named.