SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Celebrating the Birthplace of Basketball through money – Congressman Richard Neal is hoping that a newly-minted idea will be a slam dunk!
Neal (D-Springfield) was instrumental in getting the House of Representatives to pass a bill creating a commemorative coin for the Basketball Hall of Fame to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of basketball, invented in Springfield by Dr. James Naismith.
At Springfield College back in 1891, Naismith threw a ball into a peach basket 10 feet off the ground, creating a game that could be played indoors during the winter months. Today, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world.
The bill has yet to pass the Senate, but the hope is, by the year 2020, the coin will be minted, and available for collectors.
The coin is curved like a basketball; not flat. The design could go through some changes between now and the time of minting, however. The coin will be minted in bronze, silver, and gold.
“There will be a coin produced, assuming it goes on to the Senate and is approved. That looks very likely. There will be a coin that commemorates the great game of basketball, and how it’s touched every corner of our globe,” Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva said.
The Hall of Fame says they will be giving out some of the coins as change at the Hall of Fame, once they are minted. Proceeds from the sale will help the Hall of Fame preserve and acquire new pieces of basketball history.
Six million people every year visit the Basketball Hall of Fame.