Kwan Wu, 1997
This bronze of KU coaching great Forrest C. “Phog” Allen, dressed in an athlete’s sweatsuit and holding a basketball, is 8 feet 8 inches tall. It is mounted facing east on a granite base at the entrance to the Booth Family Hall of Athletics on the east side of Allen Fieldhouse.
When it was dedicated Dec. 13, 1997, the 90th anniversary of the first basketball game Allen coached at KU, it was sited slightly farther north and faced south. The fieldhouse was named for Allen when it opened March 1, 1955; he retired in 1956 and died in 1974. The sculpture cost $175,000 and was paid for by the Phog Allen Memorial Foundation. Most of the funding was raised by sales of maquettes of the statue, which was sculpted by Kwan Wu and cast by the Degginger Foundry in Topeka.
Wu, a noted Chinese sculptor, came to KU in December 1988 to work with professor/sculptor Elden C. Tefft, whom Wu had met in Shanghai. After the Tiananmen Square protests of spring 1989, Wu stayed in the United States and established a studio in Overland Park, Kan. His other American works include the 12 life-size statues of baseball greats at the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, Mo.; the life-size figural bronze George Brett at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.; and Rose at the Kansas State Botanical Gardens at Kansas State University in Manhattan.