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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 47, November 19, 2006, Article 30

BASEMENT FIND DOCUMENTS THE BIRTH OF BASKETBALL

Although off-topic, numismatic researchers and writers can appreciate
the joy of uncovering a long-lost trove of documentary evidence.
The auction firm Heritage, which does a brisk business in coins and
collectibles of all types, will be handling a stunning consignment
of material documenting the founding of the sport of basketball.  A
November 13 Associated Press article notes:

"It's settled. Basketball really did evolve from a childhood game
called "Duck on a Rock."

Such are the revelations contained in a newly unearthed trove of
personal documents, photographs and mementos from basketball's
founder, James Naismith.

The items, including handwritten diaries and typed notes, were
discovered last spring, when Naismith's granddaughter, Hellen
Carpenter, went down to her basement to find an old family photograph.

Instead, Carpenter found journals, keepsakes and typewritten rule
sheets that open a new window on the birth of one of the world's
most popular sports.

Carpenter is auctioning off the documents in December. She said
they settle details about her grandfather's invention, such as the
"Eureka" moment when he remembered rules from Duck on a Rock, a
Canadian game he played as a child, and applied them to his new game.

The items include the first rules of basketball; photos of the
first basketball team and basketball court, as well as Naismith's
description of the very first game; a whistle Naismith used as the
first basketball coach in University of Kansas history; and the
passport he used to attend the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, the
first to feature basketball as a medal sport.

The five boxes of documents, photos and items were handed down to
Carpenter from her mother, Hellen Naismith Dodd, Carpenter said.
She kept them around for decades without looking through them.

"My mother told me for years that there was nothing of real value
there," said Carpenter, 74."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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