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Neal-Warren Bill Honoring Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield Signed Into Law

January 23, 2019
Press Release
Bipartisan Bill Authorizes Treasury to Mint Commemorative Coins to Honor the Founding of the Hall

Washington, DC -Representative Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) and United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) applauded the enactment of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Warren and the late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), along with Congressmen Neal and Andy Barr (R-Ky.) that would authorize the Treasury Department to mint a limited number of commemorative coins in 2020, at no cost to the taxpayer, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. The bill, which passed both houses of Congress unanimously, was signed into law by President Trump on December 21, 2018.

Founded in 1959 and named after the founder and creator of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, the Basketball of Hall of Fame is home to one of the largest collections of basketball memorabilia in the world - including over 30,000 three-dimensional objects, 800,000 photographs, and more than one million documents.  The Hall has welcomed over six million visitors to learn the history and traditions of the game through stories and artifacts and connects with over seven million Americans per year through various programs and events.  The education programs conducted by the Hall teach young people important subjects that apply beyond the basketball court, including financial literacy, math, civil rights, leadership, and geography.

"The game of basketball was invented in the City of Springfield by Dr. James Naismith in December of 1891. Since its early days using peach baskets, the sport is now played by an estimated 450 million worldwide. And the history of the game is chronicled in a state-of-the-art Hall of Fame on the banks of the Connecticut River that is visited by thousands of people each year. I am proud to have lead the bipartisan effort in Congress to have the U.S. Treasury mint these commemoratives coins. They will help raise money for the Hall and continue to promote the sport internationally for generations to come," said Congressman Richard E. Neal

"The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ensures that we honor the history of the game of basketball," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "Minting these commemorative coins to celebrate the Hall's 60th anniversary will allow this legendary institution to strengthen investments in educational programs that include and transcend basketball. I'm proud to have partnered with Congressman Neal and the late Senator McCain on this bipartisan bill, and I am grateful to the Hall for its dedication to growing the sport across America and the world and for making Springfield, Massachusetts an epicenter for learning about the history of basketball." 

"The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is honored to have received unanimous approval from Congress to introduce a series of commemorative coins in 2020 that celebrate the great game of basketball invented in Springfield, Massachusetts by Dr. James Naismith. The game has rapidly spread across the globe and is played at all levels by men and women, and boys and girls around the world. It is a sport that offers significant opportunities to those who play and vast enjoyment for those who are fans. It is a common language that unites us all in the beauty of the game," said John Doleva, President of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Inc. "The Hall of Fame wishes to thank all who supported our efforts, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren and the late Senator John McCain and Congressman Richard E. Neal, whose district encompasses the Basketball Hall of Fame and the game's place of invention, and Congressman 'Andy' Barr from Kentucky, where some say 'the game was perfected.' The Hall of Fame will continue to honor the game's greatest moments and people in the game and provide inspiration to participants and fans of all ages in the Birthplace of Basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts."

The text of the bill can be read here.

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