Groundbreaking Day for the DeBruce Center just might signify one of the greatest days in Kansas University basketball history.
So says KU coach Bill Self, who believes Friday’s turning of dirt for the $18 million home of James Naismith’s original rules of basketball, is the start of something great for the program.
“We arguably have the nicest place, coolest place to play in college basketball. This will ensure us being at the very top for basically the rest of time with this new building,” Self said at a groundbreaking ceremony at the northeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse.
“We are very proud of it, so pleased the DeBruce Foundation and their family has made this unbelievably generous contribution to benefit KU the next century. It will obviously be the destination spot on campus for anybody who visits campus,” Self added.
The 32,000-square-foot building will open in late 2015 and will house the documents purchased by David and Suzanne Booth for $4.3 million at auction in 2010.
The DeBruce Center, which will be connected to Allen Fieldhouse through the second-floor concourse and Booth Hall of Athletics, will support future exhibits concerning KU hoops tradition and the history of the game.
The center, made possible thanks to a primary donation from KU grads Paul and Katherine DeBruce of Mission Hills, will also consist of a student activity center to seat 320 that includes retail dining, cafe seating, a training table setting for KU men’s and women’s basketball teams and a catered event space.
“We are all so spoiled, and I am more spoiled than anyone here because I get the opportunity to be the basketball coach at the most storied, tradition-rich school in the country,” Self said.
“It has been debatable that (Allen Fieldhouse) is the best home-court in college basketball. It is debatable that there are other schools out there that can challenge. It will not be debatable any longer once we are able to house the rules, and take what is the coolest and most historic building, where the walls still sweat, and add all the modern amenities that every school in the country would yearn for. We are the only school that gets to do that.”
Noted Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little: “The DeBruce Center will be a hub for students and for the university community. It will be a meeting center, it will be a place that has dining options. It will be a place that draws visitors to the University of Kansas — visitors that want to see the rightful home of the original rules of basketball. This is a wonderful day for the university — a great day for Kansas basketball and for the entire university.”