Original basketball rules fetch $4.3m at auction

Sunday, December 12, 2010

LONDON - A historic document that details the original rules of basketball, written 119 years ago, has sold for more than 4 million pounds at an auction - a record for any item of sports memorabilia.

The two typescript pages, which set out the 13 rules that were drawn up by the sport’s Canadian founder James Naismith, were signed in 1891.

The rules, auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York by the Naismith International Basketball Foundation, were bought by Kansas basketball enthusiasts David Booth and Suzanne Booth for 4.3 million dollars, reports the BBC.

The sale smashed the previous record for sports memorabilia of 3 million dollars - set in 1999 for the baseball hit by Mark McGwire when he broke the single-season home run record in 1998.

Naismith had written the rules to set up a new winter sport for boys at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he taught physical education.

The school had given him two weeks to create a new sport and he finalised it the day before his deadline, pinning the rules on a gym bulletin board.

While the money from the sale will go to the foundation and its charity work, the buyers hope that they can display the document, entitled ‘Founding Rules of Basketball’, at their university where Naismith was coincidentally the first basketball coach.

Although he died in 1939, he lived long enough see his invention become an Olympic sport just three years before.

US President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which declared the freedom of slaves held in southern states during the Civil War and was owned by ex-Senator Bobby Kennedy, fetched 3,778,500 dollars at the auction. (ANI)

Filed under: Baseball, Basketball

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