NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – March Madness kicks off at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus with an illustrated lecture on vintage basketball gyms by local author Brian D. Stucky.
Stucky will speak at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6, in the museum auditorium. The Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program is free and open to the public as part of Kauffman Museum’s year-long celebration of Kansas history.
Stucky spent six years researching basketball gymnasiums built in Kansas before 1950 for his book Hallowed Hardwood: Vintage Basketball Gyms of Kansas. Now in its third printing, the book includes photographs and stories by coaches and star players across the state.
Stucky’s storytelling will take the audience from Burrton’s tiny court with narrow balconies to the awe-inspiring Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas.
Basketball is arguably the most popular spectator sport in Kansas. Stucky’s presentation will include the stories basketball in Bethel College’s Memorial Hall, where he played on the 1973 championship basketball team, and Newton’s Lindley Hall, now serving Santa Fe Middle School students. Following the program, there will be an opportunity for members of the audience to share their favorite basketball memories.
The current special exhibition “K is for Kansas” will also be open for visitors to try the miniature free-throw game in the “N is for Naismith” alphabet block, which features hardwood from Bethel’s Alumni Hall gymnasium.
Stucky teaches art and photography at Goessel High School and is a former basketball coach. His work to preserve Kansas basketball history was recognized in 2010 when the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association granted him the Clint Hill Service Award.
After the program, Stucky will sign Hallowed Hardwood. Copies are available for purchase in the museum store as well as at Anderson Office Supply at 627 North Main St. in Newton, the Kansas Sports Museum in the Chisholm Trail Outlets Center south of Newton and at Stucky’s website, www.hallowedhardwood.com.
For more information about Kauffman Museum or Brian Stucky’s program, call 316-283-1612. Kauffman Museum, located on the Bethel College campus at 27th and North Main Streets in North Newton. Regular hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; closed Mondays and major holidays.