Recently, a house bill has been introduced to mint a commemorative coin in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
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Introducing the bill to the House of Representatives was Congressman Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, the primary bill sponsor, and co-sponsor Congressman Thomas J. Rooney. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator John McCain will also support the venture.
On December 21, 1891, a young physical education instructor named James Naismith introduced the game of ‘‘basket ball’’ to his physical education class, in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1959, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was founded and dedicated to the game’s creator in ‘‘The Birthplace of Basketball’’ and became the first and only museum to honor the game at all levels around the world. As Mayor of Springfield, in 1985, Congressman Neal was instrumental in moving the new Basketball Hall of Fame to the city’s riverfront where it resides today.
Since opening, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has honored players who have achieved greatness, as well as exemplary coaches, outstanding referees and other major contributors to the sport. The Hall is also is recognized throughout the world as the premier institution entrusted with recording and disseminating the history of the game with the largest collection of basketball memorabilia in the world, including more than 30,000 three-dimensional artifacts, 800,000 photographs and 1.5 million documents.
Notwithstanding more than 6 million total visitors, the reach of the Basketball Hall of Fame extends far beyond its walls. An additional seven million Americans have interacted with the Hall through its events, exhibits, social media, website and educational programs. These programs use basketball to teach adolescents a variety of topics including financial literacy, mathematics, civil rights, leadership, history and geography.
As part of the 60th Anniversary celebration, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will partner with its many constituency groups to celebrate in commemorating the game through the 2019-20 season. The commemorative coin proposed in the aforementioned bill will allow fans across the United States to take part in the momentous occasion.