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Naismiths original rules for basketball on auction block

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In December 1891, a two-page typed document comprising a set of 13 rules to a new game was tacked up in a Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA gym – and “Basket Ball” was born. The game was the invention of a 30-year old physical educator teacher named James Naismith, created to entertain a restless class of students during the winter months. The two-page typescript that started it all will be offered in an auction conducted by Sotheby’s this December and is expected to bring more than $2 million.

The rules were was given by James Naismith to his son Jimmy and then to Jimmy’s son Ian and his brothers and sisters. They have been displayed at various events, including Final Fours and NBA venues. The family has, until now, resisted numerous offers to sell what has been described as the hoops Magna Carta.

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