March 9, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - "Wooden's Legacy," a sculpture honoring legendary basketball Coach John Wooden, was unveiled Friday just west of the intersection of Georgia and Meridian Streets in downtown Indianapolis. Mayor Greg Ballard, members of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, sculpture donors and representatives from John Wooden's family were present for the reveal.
"Georgia Street is turning into one of the most fascinating streetscapes in the city and perhaps the country," said Mark Miles, chairman of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee. "While the community first experienced this area as the Super Bowl Village, with additions like this sculpture and the pillars that were unveiled last week, Georgia Street has become a civic asset and destination."
"During the weeks surrounding Super Bowl XLVI, the Indianapolis community shared our sense of civic engagement, ambition and team spirit through volunteerism with the world," said Mayor Ballard. "With this sculpture, we honor the legacy of a man whose values so many strive to emulate."
"Wooden's Legacy" captures the intensity and focus of Coach Wooden with his expressive facial features and pose. Conceived as a moment in his coaching career, he is in a kneeling position, grasping a "signature" rolled up playbook, gazing towards Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He is surrounded by the legs of his team with historically appropriate socks and footwear highlighting key periods of his basketball career and beyond. The base is encircled with the words from Wooden's Pyramid of Success, such as confidence, honesty and cooperation.
"It was an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of depicting Coach John Wooden," said artist Jeffrey Rouse, who previously lived in Indianapolis. "I am struck by his passion and conviction as both a player and coach. He deeply understood the fundamentals of integrity, and what was required of a team to ensure success. I had the good fortune of working with a great team to create this monument to an iconic man, including the Bright Foundry, CGM Precast and RATIO Architects.
The Super Bowl Host Committee's charitable arm (2012 Community Legacy) commissioned the original artwork and raised the additional funds necessary to create and install this public art. Other donors include the following individuals and organizations: Calumet Specialty Products Partners, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission, National Collegiate Athletic Association and Sarah and John Lechleiter.
Family members representing John Wooden at today's unveiling included: Nan Wooden (daughter), Cathleen Trapani (granddaughter), Jim Wooden (son) and Greg Wooden (grandson).
"It's an honor to be here today to represent my father with my brother Jim and two of Dad's grandchildren, Greg and Cathleen," concluded Nan Wooden. "He would be humbled to have this great tribute in the heartland of basketball, the great state of Indiana where he was born and raised."
Wooden led Purdue to the 1932 national championship as well as Big Ten championships in 1930 and 1932. He was captain of Purdue basketball team (1931-32), All-Big Ten and a three-time All-American (first-ever consensus choice). Equally important to Wooden, he received the Big Ten medal for excellence in scholarship.