This Sunday February 16, 2020 the NBA All-Star game will be played in Chicago. It is estimated that seven million people will watch that one game, and that about 450 million people are involved with basketball around the world annually. Forbes magazine has estimated the value of the 30 NBA teams at over 50 billion dollars with the Toronto Raptors valued at 1.7 billion.
On December 21, 1891 the game of basketball was invented by Canadian James Naismith. He was born on November 6, 1861 in Almonte Ontario about 50 kilometers west of Ottawa. Yet, the inventor of the game, James Naismith, never profited from any of this. In fact, he was generally in favour of advancing good values through sport and not profit. His estate did not profit either. However, his original two-page rules of the game of “Basket Ball” from 1891 were passed down to his family.
On December 10, 2010 the rules were purchased at Sotheby’s auction for a record 4.3 million dollars by David and Suzanne Booth. The couple then donated the original rules of the game of “Basket Ball” to the University of Kansas, where James Naismith had been director of athletics until retiring in 1937 at the age of 76. He died on November 28, 1939 at his home in Lawrence Kansas. The family heirs of James Naismith took the proceeds from the sale of the original rules and donated the money to the Naismith International Basketball Foundation charitable organization.
A notable legacy in a succession of events. The game of life played well, starting with James Naismith, then David and Suzanne Booth, and then the family and heirs of James Naismith!
Enjoy the game!
Coach Dean Smith of National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball fame passed away on February 7, 2015. The coach of such superstars as Michael Jordan will be remembered for 36 seasons with the University of North Carolina.
Pursuant to Coach Smith’s Last Will and Testament, each varsity letterman who played for him was gifted the sum of $200.00. In total, 180 cheques have been delivered to Smith’s former athletes.
Some controversy has followed Coach Smith’s generosity. The NCAA adheres to a strict “no pay” policy for its student-athletes. College athletes who compete in the NCAA cannot accept any form of remuneration that is associated with their status as athletes. After the terms of Coach Smith’s Will were discovered, some college basketball fans worried that the testamentary trust established to pay out the $200.00 legacies to former students would violate NCAA bylaws.
The NCAA has issued recent statements that clarify that its rules apply even to gifts that are made to student-athletes long after graduation. The Association has, however, since indicated that it does not take issue with the gifts made pursuant to Coach Smith’s Will.
Smith had one of the most successful coaching careers in NCAA history. His athletes will remember him for his dedication to the sport, his encouragement of unprecedented graduation rates, and for his last act of kindness, the $200.00 gifts which Coach Smith intended to be used for a “dinner out”.
Have a great long weekend.