LAWRENCE, Kan. — The University of Kansas fans and supporters flocked to the Lied Center here on a rainy Saturday night to see the premiere of There’s No Place Like Home, the latest film in the 30 for 30 series.
The film follows KU superfan Josh Swade (who also co-directed with Maura Mandt, see video above) on his quest to win at auction the most important document in sports history — James Naismith’s original rules of basketball — and bring them “home” to Lawrence, where Naismith coached and taught for more than 40 years.
When Swade discovers through an article in The New York Times that Naismith’s original rules of basketball will be auctioned off on Dec. 10, 2010, he set out on a journey to raise more than $1 million in three weeks. With a short timeline and an ambitious objective, Swade teamed up with an influential Kansas alumnus, David Booth, and the grandson of legendary coach Phog Allen in an effort to make his dream a reality.
More than 1,000 people attended the screening — most dressed in their favorite Jayhawks gear — and cheered throughout the film, including giving a standing ovation at the end of the film.
Also in attendance were David and Suzanne Deal Booth, who won “The Rules” at auction, and Mark Allen, who played an integral role in helping Swade accomplish his goal.
Lawrence Mayor Bob Schumm and his wife also attended the screening and presented keys to the city to Mr. and Mrs. Booth, to thank them for their generosity in bringing “The Rules” to Lawrence.
“If I was the Wizard of Oz, I’d give you the Badge of Courage, for never giving up,” Allen told Swade in a speech after the film concluded.
Booth added, “The film is a tribute to how one person, if they have enough passion and vision, can accomplish so much.”
There’s No Place Like Home debuts tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. For more information, click here.