TERRE HAUTE —
Individual tickets are now on sale for members of the public who want to attend a Nov. 8 post-dinner recognition program honoring basketball legend Larry Bird.
The program, “Honoring a Legend,” will begin at 8:30 p.m. in Hulman Center.
“This is for any fan who wants to be part of this night and part of the celebration,” said Phil Ness, associate vice president of athletics development for the Indiana State University Foundation. “We want to include as many fans as possible.”
The after-dinner program will be a tribute to Bird’s career and contributions to the game of basketball. It will be hosted by Pacers colleague and Celtics teammate, Quinn Buckner. Bird will discuss his basketball career as a player, coach and executive. There will be guest appearances from coaches, teammates and players who have been a part of Bird’s dominance in the sport.
Tickets for the upper concourse at Hulman Center are $33; tickets for lower concourse seating are $133 per ticket, and that includes a commemorative event program.
Proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit the Larry Bird Scholarship Fund and are tax-deductible gifts through the ISU Foundation.
Tickets can be purchased at the Hulman Center ticket office; online at ticketmaster
.com or charged by phone by calling 800-745-3000.
Other events during the “Honoring a Legend” weekend include a scholarship dinner earlier in the evening and the dedication of a larger-than-life statue of Bird on Nov. 9 before the Sycamores’ regular season opener against Ball State.
The tickets on sale for $33 and $133 are for the Nov. 8 program only. Doors to Hulman Center will open at 8 p.m. “We are trying to service as many Sycamore fans as possible,” Ness said.
Table sponsorships for the scholarship dinner start at $5,033 for a table of eight. “We have sold a lot of tables to the dinner to date,” Ness said, “upwards of 40 tables at this point.”
The Larry Bird Scholarship will provide an endowed, full-tuition scholarship for an in-state player on the ISU basketball team.
Honoring a Legend “is a once in a lifetime event,” stated Brad Miley, a teammate of Bird on the 1979 team that went undefeated in the regular season and made it to the NCAA championship game against Michigan State.
The 1979 team plans to reunite for the Honoring a Legend weekend. “Everyone is trying to clear their calendars,” Ness said.
The Bird events are drawing interest nationwide. “It’s unbelievable the contacts coming in from all over country on this,” Ness said.
He noted that at this point, about half of the Hulman Center “bowl,” or about 4,000 seats, will be available for the public to watch the program.
Some of the seating will be reserved for ISU students, at no cost.
“We’re honoring a truly remarkable individual who has had a career of excellence in basketball as a player, coach and general manager,” Ness said. “This will be a great event, an event memorable not only on our campus, but in Terre Haute.”
Bird played for ISU from 1976 to 1979. In 1979, the Sycamores reached the NCAA finals, losing their only game of the season to Michigan State, 75-64, in Salt Lake City. Bird was the National Player of the Year that season, and the Sycamores finished 33-1.
He was a first-round draft pick by the Boston Celtics after his junior season, but he chose to return to ISU for his senior year. Bird wore No. 33 at ISU, which the university has since retired.
After completing his college career at ISU, Bird went on to become an NBA all-star with the Boston Celtics, an Olympian and an Indiana Pacers coach and executive.
The Nov. 8-9 events at ISU will pay tribute to Bird’s legacy by dedicating a statue in his honor in conjunction with college basketball’s opening weekend on Nov. 9.
The Larry Bird Statue dedication will take place at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 9, outside Hulman Center before the 1 p.m. ISU basketball game against Ball State. The statue has been crafted by Vigo County sculptor Bill Wolfe, who has promoted the idea for many years.
It will be an all-bronze, 15-foot tall statue, which excludes any additional height from a base.
For more information on Honoring a Legend events, tickets or sponsorships, go to www.indstate.edu/larrybird.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.