On December 10, 2010, Sotheby’s auctioned off the most important historical document in sports history—James Naismith’s original rules of basketball.
119 years prior James Naismith invented the game at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He put up the thirteen rules in the gymnasium the very morning he introduced the game to the world.
Naismith soon brought his creation to the University of Kansas, launching the men's basketball program at KU. His arrival set the stage for 115 years of winning basketball and a coaching lineage that reads like American Royalty. Naismith mentored the great Phog Allen, "the father of basketball coaching" who in turn mentored Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith. Rupp went on to build the Kentucky program while Smith went on to coach at North Carolina. To this day, the three Universities remain the winningest institutions in college basketball history.
While he invented the game in Springfield and remained there for 4 years of his life, Lawrence was Nasimith's true home - the place he loved, the place he spent the last 41 years of his life, the place he is buried. "I love God, my family, and KU," Naismith once said. It was Naismith's wish that any memorial or hall-of-fame bearing his name be erected in Lawrence, Kansas.
There’s No Place Like Home tells the story of one fan’s obsessive quest to win this seminal American artifact at auction and bring the rules “home” to Lawrence, Kansas.