Larry Bird; dedicates Terre Haute museum chronicling To his basketball career

‘Today is a special day for me’ | Larry Bird dedicates Terre Haute museum chronicling To his basketball career

In spite of the fact that “Larry Legend” was in town for the opening ceremonies on Thursday, the museum that is housed within the Terre Haute Convention Center will not be open to the public until Friday.

It is TERRE HAUTE, Indiana. Larry Bird, a legendary figure in the world of basketball, has his very own museum in the place where he first came to the attention of the nation. In 1979, Bird led Indiana State to the championship game of the NCAA tournament.

Despite the fact that “Larry Legend” was in town for the opening ceremonies on Thursday, the museum that is housed within the Terre Haute Convention Center becomes accessible to the general public on Friday, May 31.

More than four decades ago, I embarked on this trip. As Bird pointed out, “It is not a journey that can be taken by oneself.” “Because of admirers like you, I never really felt like I went through life by myself. Together, we were victorious. Together, we were unsuccessful. We remained in the same place. And here we are again today.”

Bird gathered united with his supporters in Terre Haute to reveal the museum that traces the basketball career of the “Hick from French Lick” — from Springs Valley High School, to Indiana State, to the Boston Celtics, the Olympic “Dream Team” and coach and executive for the Indiana Pacers.

“He seemed like he got a little choked up during his speech today, and you normally do not see that from Larry Bird,” said Kris Foust, who lives in Terre Haute. “I don’t know if that had a significant part of Bill Walton passing away recently, mixed with his family and friends all being here to support him today. But it was extremely great to see him give a sincere message to the people here in Terre Haute today.”

“I believe it’s amazing. I think there’s no other place it should be, right here downtown where they really revitalized everything in the last five years or so just brings more and more people to the community, which is a really great way I think to show off what Terre Haute is doing and how it’s definitely been building the last couple of years,” Indiana State volleyball coach Ashley Pritchard said.

Indiana State University and Boston Celtics great Larry Bird talks at the official opening event for the Larry Bird Museum, Thursday, May 30, 2024.

“You know, if you think about it, I got a little street named after me. I got a statue out there. I got museum here. Thank you, Terre Haute, but I think that’s enough for awhile,” Bird added. “This city, you have no idea how much I respect the city and the people in it.”

Admission to the museum is free, but you have to plan your visit online. Video is not allowed, but you can have a glimpse at some of the exhibits in the gallery below:

“Larry’s dream, nevertheless, was to have all of his possessions in one spot. And so that really was what propelled the bus as far as … and he wanted it in Terre Haute,” said Terri Conley, with the Terre Haute Capital Improvement Board.

“I wanted to do it for the kids and the community. And not only here in Terre Haute, but in Indiana and around the country,” Bird said. “I’m sure there’s some people come here from around the world to witness it. So you know, it’s remarkable to me that I’ve gone from where I did growing up to where I’m at today. And it’s all because of dribbling a basketball all the time.”

He’s still communicating with fans who only see him play in the social media archives.

“His 3-point shooting and his trash talking,” one child added.

Yes, those are part of the museum, too.

“You know, I’m a shy introvert. How the heck I keep getting up here on stage talking to thousands of people? It’s always been fantastic to me,” Bird added. “But it’s because of the love and respect that I’ve always had for my fans, and the love and respect that they showed me back. And it is a special day for me because you’re here. If you were not here, it means nothing. So thank you, and God bless each and every one of you.”

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