UofL to celebrate Crawford Gym, former players Historic gym to give way to modern classroom building

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    UofL will hold an open house at Crawford Gym for former players and fans from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.
    UofL will hold an open house at Crawford Gym for former players and fans from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For years, Crawford Gym was the site of intense practices and legendary summer afternoon pick-up games featuring Louisville’s best college and professional basketball players. It also housed the Cardinal swim teams and served thousands of students who took classes and competed in intramural sports ranging from racquetball to volleyball.

    Now the historic structure, built in 1963, is coming down in mid-August to make way for a new academic building – and the University of Louisville invites fans to help send it out in style.

    UofL will pay tribute to Crawford Gym with an open house for former players and fans from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4. Activities will include an 11 a.m. event in which Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum and several former players will share memories of their days in Crawford. The open house is free and open to the public.

    In addition, the university invites the community to share their memories of Crawford Gym in the comments section at uofl.me/crawfordgym. The university will collect the memories through Aug. 7, at which time the comments will be delivered to the University Archives.

    Fans can own a piece of Crawford Gym in one of two ways. The university will sell a limited number of 8”x10” pieces of the Crawford Gym floor for $50 apiece. Go to uoflalumni.org/crawfordgym for more details. Scoreboards, bleachers, goals and other items will be part of an online auction July 26-Aug. 5. The auction site is http://mcginnisauctions.hibid.com/auctions/current.

    Netl proceeds will benefit the Denny Crum Foundation, which provides scholarships for 100 Louisville-area students each year.

    “Today’s students deserve the best, and the new building will provide much-needed, state-of-the-art classroom space,” Crum said. “Like our players and our fans, I’m sad that Crawford’s days are numbered. But these events will give all of us a chance to reminisce, and the auction will enable our fans to take a piece of history with them.”

    For more information, go to www.uoflnews.com.

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    John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As senior associate vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.