McPherson is known for their rich, successful history in basketball, which has flourished over the years.
To showcase that history, the McPherson Museum is introducing the exhibit, “History of Bullpup Basketball.” The exhibit brings together some items already in the museum with new aspects.
"Our exhibit has some story boards from the big Bullpup from the old original Roundhouse floor in 1996. It was there until 2007 when they remodeled the Roundhouse and put a whole new floor in. When they took that floor up, they had to cut out the Bullpup and it took a group of volunteers to do this. They also numbered the back of each board so it could be put back together like a jigsaw puzzle," explained Anna Ruxlow, director of the museum. "It is said that every child born in McPherson is born with a basketball in their crib. Basketball has always been very important in McPherson, and McPherson has a winning history in the sport."
The new interactive exhibit showcases the McPherson High School boys basketball team with information starting in 1937 and the girls basketball team since 1969, as well as the Globe Refiners.
"The Globe Refiners was a team in the 1930s that the refinery sponsored. In those times, there wasn't professional basketball or even college basketball wasn't very big. So there were these AAU teams that would go and play and the Globe Refiners ended up going to the 1936 Olympics and they won the USA’s first gold medal in basketball at the Olympics," Ruxlow said.
Statistics for the McPherson High School teams date back to 1937 and 1969 are now compiled into an interactive touchscreen for viewers to enjoy. They can choose to look at things from who McPherson beat in 2005 and much more.
from here in McPherson, compiled basketball stats into notebooks and was able to work with a gentlemen from Hutchinson who was able to put them into a computer format," Ruxlow explained.
While gathering statistics together from years past was difficult, putting the larger-than-life Bullpup design on the wall was not an easy process either.
"They began putting the Bullpup up in 2014 or 2015 and it took two to three years to complete. It took so long because they had to clean each individual board because you're talking about 11 years of girls and boys playing basketball on that floor, plus wrestling, volleyball and all the other events they would have had in there," Ruxlow said. "There was so much dirt, hair and blood, you name it, in between those boards, which is why they had to clean each one. Once we got it up, we had to route around the edge to make it even then we had to install trim around there — that wasn't easy to do. Someone had to make a special arm and special saws to route it. This wasn't finished until early 2016."
Below the Bullpup logo, visitors can also see the original flooring from the Roundhosue basketball court.
"We took some boards from the old gym floor so now we have a basketball floor that is in front of the exhibit area," Ruxlow noted.
While the exhibit is mostly finished, there is still some work to be done in order for it to be completed due to the never-ending information of basketball statistics.
"There's a lot more information that we need to put in there for the high school and the Globe Refiners,” she said.
With state tournaments just around the corner, Ruxlow said she is pleased that they are able to unveil the exhibit just in time to show their support for the Bullpups.
"This is our way of saying, we love the Pups, we support the Pups, whether they're playing basketball, football or anything, but because we have the Bullpups basketball, that's why we picked this particular time to do this," she said.
An unveiling of the interactive exhibit will start at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the museum, 1111 E. Kansas Ave. in McPherson. The museum suggests a $1 admission donation. All donations from that evening will go toward the completion of the exhibit. Refreshments will also be served that evening.
For more information, call the museum at 620-241-8464 or visit their website at http://.mcphersonmuseum.com or visit their Facebook page.
Contact Brooke Haas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.