The Debruce Center is a part of the rich basketball experience that can be had during a visit to the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The permanent home to the rules of basketball. The original typed two sheets of paper crafted by Dr. James Naismith to keep 18 young men busy in 1891. These 13 rules for “Basket Ball” created one of the most popular sports in the world.
The original Naismith rules is housed in a state of the art facility. Situated in a case that is more in design to protect the document than give visual clarity. A special dim electronic light will illuminate the rules when pushed. At the same time, Dr. Naismith, will explain how the rules of basketball came about. Now how the rules of basketball came to be in the possession of the University of Kansas is a fascinating story. One given the proper treatment in a 30 for 30 Documentary on ESPN. Through I am becoming less of a fan of the network over the last 4 or 5 years they still do work when they stick strictly to sports.
The Debruce Center is a modern looking building that surprisingly does not look out of place attached to Allen Field House. The rules painted on the outside of the building attached to one of the great college basketball venues in the United States will make any fan of the sport excited. Even if you are not a fan of the university. The facility is also home to a café and coffee shop. There is also a gift shop dedicated to the Original Rules. Great place to do some birthday or Christmas shopping for the dedicated history loving basketball fan.
Since the Debruce Center is attached to Allen Field House as well as the KU Sports Hall of Fame it is a must see for any Kansas fan out there. The Debruce Center has a timeline of Kansas Basketball that I particularly enjoyed. The hall where the original rules are placed is lit up on both sides by quotes from some of KU’s greatest basketball players and coaches. Reading some of their quotes leading to Allen Field House would fire up any fan about to enjoy a game. Not that those KU fanatics need a whole lot of help in that department.
As neat as the rules are to see when it comes down to it they are just some rules for a game. All-be-it a game that a lot of people love. However, what really stood out for me during a visit to the Debruce Center was not a chance at seeing the rules it was walking the hall and reading the quotes from some of the great ones that played and coached that game. If you are sports fan no matter what sport you live vicariously through the team you support. For my family, it was KU basketball. Seeing those quotes and my mind is quickly taken back to pretending in the drive way I was them. Watching them at school during March madness when the teacher would roll the TV to the front of the class. My dad taking me to the Big 8 Tournament. Some many fond memories of a sport that was near and dear to my heart.
The DeBruce Center
1647 Naismith Drive, Lawrence, KS
Hours of Operation: Monday through Thursday 7 to 6 Friday 7 to 5 and Saturday 10 to 5 and special hours during home basketball games.
Cost as of this Posting: Free
For more information visit their website at https://debrucecenter.ku.edu/
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