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Original Rules of Basketball to be Auctioned Off


By Susan B. Wilson and Anthonia Akitunde

Kansas City, MO – Two yellowed typewritten pages laying out the rules of one of the world's most popular sports will go on the Sotheby's auction block on December 10. The original 13 rules of basketball were written in 1892 by the Canadian-born physician, Presbyterian minister and physical education professor James Naismith.

At the top of the page, Naismith wrote: "First draft of Basketball rules hung in the gym that the boys might learn the rule." In recent years, they've traveled around the country with his grandson Ian Naismith, and have been displayed at the Final Four and NBA All-Star games. And they've survived almost being lost at a popular sports bar on Metcalf known for its shapely waitresses.

So why auction the rules now? Susan Wilson asked Ian Naismith, who's president of the Naismith International Basketball Foundation.

But not everyone thinks auctioning them off is the best way to preserve Naismith's history. To find out more about how Naismith is remembered, Susan also spoke to Allen Rae, the chairman of the board of the Naismith Museum located in Altmonte, Ontario, James Naismith's birthplace.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

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