Blank Menu

James Naismith Biography

Here you can read a little about James Naismith biography…

James Naismith is best known for being the father of professional basketball, when he invented the game in 1891 at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

He wrote the rulebook for basketball as well as introducing basketball to the University of Kansas which one of the most storied programs in all of college basketball.

Naismith was born in 1861 and was raised in Canada and went to college in Montreal where he graduated with BA in Physical Education. He stayed in Canada for a short time before he moved to the United States and began his teaching career in physical education at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The game of basketball might have never been created had it not been for rowdy students who could not stay well behaved inside during the brutal New England winters.

Naismith’s boss had told him that he had two weeks to create a game that could be played inside that would keep the kids in shape, since they were not able to play outside.

It also was important that the game be fair to everyone and that all could compete not just the athletically gifted.

In order to create this game, he looked at the most popular sports of this particular era and tried to get take the safest parts of these games in order to create a game where none of the schools’ athletes could be injured.

So by looking at all sports he realized the best ball to use that would not cause injury because of the softness was the soccer ball, he also noticed a lot of games around at that time had many injuries from running and tackling, so he decided that passing would be the main component of his game.

He also noticed that all sports usually had someone guarding a net or goal and he made it so that his game a player could not directly block a path to the goal.

The first game of basketball was created using a soccer ball and two peach baskets that were placed on opposite sides of the gym about 10 feet from the ground.

The first games that were played were nine-on-nine and there was no dribbling allowed. Early forms of basketball only allowed the ball to be moved by tossing the ball to a teammate. The game when first created had 13 rules, which included no dribbling and no tackling or hitting of the other player.

After creating this game in Springfield, Massachusetts; Naismith moved to Kansas where he began a college basketball program in 1898. Naismith at the time could not have realized what he was creating at the time. Kansas became one of the most renowned college programs in all of basketball and it all started because of the man that created basketball.

Naismith sure has a lasting legacy on the sport of basketball. The name of the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame is named for him. Also the award given to the top players in both women and men’s NCAA Division 1 basketball is also named after him. Naismith has also been inducted into a number of halls of fames; most notably, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and the FIBA Hall of Fame.


Return from James Naismith Biography to Basketball Articles

Return from James Naismith Biography to Best Basketball Tips