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James Naismith's Handwritten Notes On The First Basketball Game

These are handwritten notes from James Naismith describing the circumstances of the first game of basketball. They are not newly discovered, they were part of an auction from December 2006, but that does not make them any less fascinating. In all, there are eight pages worth of Naismith's thoughts and anxieties regarding the game.

The pages, among many other basketball related items, were found by Naismith's granddaughter, Helen Carpenter and put up for auction. This manuscript sold for $71,700. Naismith's 13 rules of basketball were also recently auctioned off, going for $4.3 million in 2010 and Kansas recently announced the rules will take up permanent residence in a new building to be constructed next to Allen Fieldhouse. The efforts to bring the rules back to Kansas will be the subject of a 30 For 30 feature.


The auction site transcribed all seven pages (but only made two full pages available to view, see below) and shows how meticulously Naismith crafted the sport, and how enduring his efforts were. 10 foot rims, a jump ball to start the game, the prevalence of traveling. It's all there. And here.



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