It’s no secret that Houston is one of the best basketball cities on theplanet. From the University of Houston’s Phi Slamma Jamma collegiateheroics, The Dream and Rudy T bringing two championships home to the Rockets,the groundbreaking Comets making history, and James Harden mixing up magicnightly, our city loves the game of basketball. With the Rockets restarting anabbreviated, delayed season in search of a world title, we’re welcomingbasketball back in our own unique way.
Starting July 31, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is proud to present toHoustonians our next special exhibition The First Game: The Birth ofBasketball—the original 13 rules for round ball drawn up and written byJames Naismith himself way back in 1892. This will be a treat for fans ofbasketball and American history alike. This historical document is broughtto us with special assistance from local collector Kenny Duncan Jr., whose family has owned US Coins and Jewelry in Houston for over 35 years.
Of course the game of basketballhas changed quite a bit since the days of peach baskets and players actually being called for traveling. The game that Naismith first imagined inSpringfield, Massachusetts to keep athletes limber during the winter is quaintcompared to the one we know in 2020. It didn’t feature stunning slam dunks,international adulation, full pop-culture immersion, or multimillion-dollarsneaker deals. That’s been the beauty of the game throughout its history. It’sconstantly evolving, just like the world it’s played in.
Visitors can see the Naismith documents starting this Friday at our Hermann Park campusfor a limited time.
When the museum reopened on Friday, May 15 we instituted a series of advanced healthand safety protocols to make our museum a welcoming place for patrons duringthese challenging times. Operating at just 25 percent capacity, there is plentyof room to socially distance and still experience our wondrous permanentexhibition halls and special installations with the whole family.
The First Game: The Birth of Basketball is included withadmission to the permanent exhibit halls. For ticket prices or more information visit our website at www.hmns.org or call (713) 639-4629.