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IU basketball to install monuments commemorating national championship teams outside Assembly Hall



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Five monuments and sculptures will be placed outside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall this week to honor IU's five national champion men's basketball teams.  Rebecca Mehling Buy Photos

Five granite monuments and five statues commemorating IU men's basketball's five national champion teams will be installed outside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall this week, IU Athletics announced Tuesday.

The monuments, which will include the name of every player and coach from each title-winning team, were made possible by a major gift as part of the athletic department's bicentennial campaign.

Each monument will contain images of IU players on one side and the story of each team's championship season on the other. The monuments will be located in Ken Nunn Champions Plaza outside of Assembly Hall. 

"There could be no better addition to Ken Nunn Champions Plaza than these inspiring tributes to our five national champion men's basketball teams — with room for more," IU Athletic Director Fred Glass said in a release. 

According to the release from IU Athletics, Brian Hanlon designed and produced the five monuments. Hanlon has produced over 300 works, including sculptures at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. 

Installation of the monuments will begin on Wednesday and will be completed in time for Hoosier Hysteria, which is set for this Saturday, Oct. 21. 

The sculptures will also be completed prior to Hoosier Hysteria this Saturday. Made possible by a major gift from Bill and Juanita Beach, the five sculptures will be part of the Bill and Juanita Beach Indiana Basketball Memories Collection. 

Each sculpture highlights an "iconic" moment in IU men's basketball history.

"The Father of Indiana Basketball" sculpture will be an image of former IU player and coach Everett Dean. Dean was the first player in IU basketball history to earn All-American honors and led the Hoosiers to three Big Ten titles.

"Two Pioneers Breaking the Unwritten Rule" will depict a photograph of former IU Coach Branch McCracken and former IU player Bill Garrett. Garrett was the first African-American to play men's basketball in the Big Ten Conference.

"Celebrating Perfection" will honor the 1975-76 IU team that finished the regular season with a perfect 32-0 record. Bob Knight, who coached the 1975-76 team, requested not to be depicted in the sculpture. IU Athletics said in a release they will honor his request.

"Tournament Dominance" depicts former IU player Isiah Thomas's layup in the 1981 NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship game against North Carolina.

Lastly, "The Shooter and The Shot" shows former IU players Steve Alford and Keith Smart, who both played on IU's 1986-87 national championship-winning team, the last IU team to win a national title.

Jake Thomer and Cameron Drummond

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