Naismith Rules Return Home

Heather Avi HeaderIf you haven’t heard, The Rules of basketball officially returned to their rightful place: Lawrence, KS. A ceremony during halftime of Saturday’s game against Kentucky unveiled The Rules with special appearances from David Booth and members of the James Naismith family.

In an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “There’s No Place Like Home,” Kansas Jayhawks super-fan, Josh Swade, desires to obtain James Naismith’s Founding Rules of Basketball from Sotheby’s in New York. Swade pitches his idea to wealthy Kansas athletic boosters in hopes that the boosters might fulfill his lofty dream. Phog Allen’s grandson, Mark Allen, becomes a key component in Swade’s journey — his research proved the wealth and importance of obtaining the original rules. By the end of the documentary, Swade (with Allen’s help) convinces David and Suzanne Booth to win The Rules. Booth purchased the James Naismith’s original for over $4 million in December 2011. The Rules were donated to the university Saturday and its $18-million home, adjacent to the fieldhouse, will open this spring.

You can watch the halftime ceremony here.

The DeBruce Center, will connect to the northeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse and also become the home of James Naismith’s Original Rules of Basketball. The Hall of Athletics exhibit, which features Kansas coach Phog Allen and his relationship with Naismith, will expand as a corridor leading to the DeBruce Center. An additional exhibit that highlights Naismith’s accomplishments through basketball, fitness, and character will also be featured.


Note: I mistakenly labeled Lawrence the birthplace of basketball. It was in fact not: Springfield College in Massachusetts is where basketball was created. James Naismith brought the game to Kansas, where he became head coach at the University of Kansas from 1898-1907. Basketball was supposed to not be too “rough,” but something to keep Naismith’s rowdy class of New England kids in shape during the harsh winters. The official rules for basketball were drafted just six years before the Kansas basketball program began in 1898. James Naismith is the only coach in Kansas history to leave with a losing record (55-60).


This week’s matchups:

Wednesday Feb. 3, 8 p.m.

No. 7 Kansas 17-4 (5-3) vs Kansas State 13-8 (2-6); ESPN/watchESPN

Saturday Feb. 6, 11 a.m.

No. 7 Kansas 17-4 (5-3) vs TCU 10-11 (1-7); ESPN/watchESPN


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