Unveiled Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Debruce Center’s newest exhibit, “Game Changers,” tells the story of how basketball has changed over time through the people and groups who broke its boundaries.
Exhibition Curator Tim Gaddie worked alongside the Memorial Union and KU Libraries to create a viewing experience that pays homage to the storied history and future of basketball.
“It's a look at how sometimes individuals, sometimes groups of folks have changed basketball,” Gaddie said during the event. “Sometimes they were changes to the game itself, sometimes to the culture.”
The exhibit is divided into two main components. The first, a set of locker spaces housing specific rules changes, such as goaltending and lane widening. It explains the rules, how and why they were changed and the players associated with changing them.
Gaddie said some players were such dominant forces in the game that the officials had to change the rules to account for their style of play.
The second component is a timeline that chronicles the history of the game’s many rule changes over the decades.
“A lot of times we see reflected from basketball how American culture has changed,” Gaddie said.
Lisa Kring, director of building and event services at the Memorial Union, said the idea took a year and a half to create and involved poring through archives and photos. Kring said the idea was to create a people-focused representation of the University.
“The intent behind this exhibit was to do a different take on the game of basketball,” Kring said. “Because the original rules of basketball are here, let's talk about how the game has changed since Naismith invented it.”
Steve Koberlein, a KU fan from Lawrence, brought his wife Kelly to see the exhibit and brush up on their history before inviting friends from out of town to give them a tour.
“We love to see the growth of basketball and read a little bit about it,” Koberlein said. “It’s fantastic how things have changed over the years.”
—Edited by Emma Bascom