The second most valuable piece of sports memorabilia ever sold gets network TV treatment this week. James Naismith’s original “Rules of Basket Ball” will be featured on Fox Business Network’s Strange Inheritance.
The original rules crafted by Naismith sold for $4.3 million in 2010. They had been handed down through his family. Naismith’s heirs will tell their story on the show, which has featured sports memorabilia in the past.
According to Naismith’s grandson Ian, after basketball became a national phenomenon, James Naismith kept them in a secret compartment at his grandfather’s home. The rules eventually were taken on occasional tours by his grandson, Ian. The family opted to sell after Ian thought he’d left them in a restaurant.
“He started looking around and couldn’t find the rules,” said Ian’s son Sean. “He called the waitress who said, ‘I saw you walk out with those rules.’ And sure enough, when he tore apart his van he found them in there.”
The temporary scare and the realization they couldn’t afford to insure them led the family to sell. The rules were purchased by an alumnus of Kansas University where they are now on permanent display.
Colby told MassLive that James Naismith’s family never expected the rules to sell for as much as they did– “and they did good things with the money.”
The first airing of the show is slated for Monday at 9 PM Eastern time.