Avid KU basketball fan transforms Shawnee garage into Allen Fieldhouse replica

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- It's been home sweet home to countless basketball memories.

One fanatical Kansas basketball fanatic has found a way to take Phog Allen Fieldhouse home with him to Johnson County. It's a unique tribute that Rory Ramsdell, 48, can call his own.

The Ramsdells live on a beautiful green patch in western Shawnee, inside the DeSoto School District.

Ramsdell said two years ago, he was attending a game at the fieldhouse in Lawrence when an idea came to him. His daughters were both of legal driving age, and rather than create a simple garage, he designed a multi-purpose building where the 900-square-foot garage carries an elaborate KU Jayhawks theme.

The 30-by-30-foot structure feels like a cross between a large storage area for cars and a basketball hall of fame.

Huge photos of the crowds at Allen Fieldhouse hang on the walls. A working scoreboard adorns another wall, and within the garage are many photos of the two Ramsdell daughters, reminders of their many visits to home basketball games in Lawrence.

Ramsdell, a 1993 University of Kansas alum, said everyone who visits the garage has the same reaction at first.

"You're crazy!" he said amid laughs.

But then Ramsdell explains, and visitors notice the handmade lockers and the custom-sewn championship banners that hang from the garage's roof, much the way they would in a celebrated basketball cathedral like the Phog.

The only thing missing from the display is the incessant cheering Jayhawk fans are known for bringing to every home contest.

Rory Ramsdell

"I turn into a little kid when I go to the games, and I love hanging out with all the other KU alums. Just the passion that you absorb, it becomes a part of you, and when I was building this, it spilled out," Ramsdell told FOX4.

Ramsdell's daughter, Reagen, will be a freshman at KU in August. One set of the garage's photos include shots of her and her sister, Bailey, posing with Jayhawk alums, such as Frank Mason III and Perry Ellis.

The photographs serve as a makeshift timeline, suggesting the two girls have been fortunate enough to grow up in one of college basketball's hallowed halls.

"It has all our memories over the past years we've been together at KU basketball games. You can see me grow throughout every picture. You can see me as a ballgirl, and then, you have me going to KU this year. It's a fun experience seeing the transitions," Reagen Ramsdell said.

Rory said his dream is for Coach Bill Self to come see the garage himself. If he could get the coach to visit, that would make this nest complete.

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