An early look at Wichita State’s prototype for the Dave Stallworth statue

Clay prototype for a Dave Stallworth statue.
Clay prototype for a Dave Stallworth statue. Courtesy photo

The Dave Stallworth statue is in its clay form.

Members of the 1965 Final Four team, along with others, are raising $250,000 to erect a life-size statue of Stallworth at Koch Arena. Sculptor Ann LaRose has the clay prototype (approximately three feet) ready for inspection and the reviews are positive, said Bob Powers, one of the organizers.

“When I look at that proto and I approve it and all of its details … it needs to have more muscle in the legs, say … she'll go to Colorado,” Powers said. “When I give her the word, she is going to go the kiln and she'll do the casting.”

Formal fund-raising will start in September with a kickoff celebration at WSU with president John Bardo, Powers said. The committee will give LaRose the go-ahead when it reaches $150,000. Informal efforts raised around $20,000, Powers said.

“All of that money that’s in there is from what people have read (about the project),” he said. “We haven’t asked anybody for anything yet.”

Casting of the statue takes from eight to 12 months, Powers said. LaRose works in Tucson, Ariz., and does her casting at a foundry in Loveland, Colo.

The committee plans a fund-raising letter with signatures from Shocker All-Americans Cleo Littleton, Antoine Carr, Cliff Levingston, Xavier McDaniel, Cleanthony Early, Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker.

“We know you get many other fund-raising letters from many other worthy causes, including from WSU,” fund-raising materials read. “But we believe this one is special because we know how much the Shockers mean to you and our city. Please join us so that all future generations will know as soon as they walk into Koch Arena that this is the House that Dave Built, and this program would not be what it is today without his remarkable years as a Shocker.”

The WSU Foundation is handling donations. Checks should be made out to the WSU Foundation, 1845 Fairmount St., Wichita, 67260.

The project sprang from a conversation among members of the 1964-65 team following Stallworth’s death in March. Teammates Melvin Reed and Mohammed Sharif talked to Powers after the memorial service at Koch Arena to discuss ways to honor Stallworth.

Stallworth ranks third on Wichita State’s career scoring list. He totaled 1,936 points, averaging 24.2 a season. He also averaged 10.5 rebounds and made 53 percent of his shots.

His No. 42 jersey is one of five retired at WSU, and he was in the Missouri Valley’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in 1997 — alongside Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, Wes Unseld, Ed Macauley, Hersey Hawkins and coach Henry Iba.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop