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The Father of Basketball

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 , Posted by dAVe at 11:17 PM

James Naismith was the Canadian physical education instructor who invented basketball in 1891. James Naismith was born in Almonte, Ontario and educated at McGill University and Presbyterian Cllege in Montreal. He was the physical education teacher at McGill University (1887 to 1890) and at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts (1890 to 1895). At Springfield College (which was then the Y.M.C.A. training school), James Naismith, under the direction of American phys-ed specialist Luther Halsey Gulick, invented the indoor sport of basketball.

Photo of James Naismith

The first formal rules were devised in 1892. Initially, players dribbled a soccer ball up and down a court of unspecified dimensions. Points were earned by landing the ball in a peach basket. Iron hoops and a hammock-style basket were introduced in 1893. Another decade passed, however, before the innovation of open-ended nets put an end to the practice of manually retrieving the ball from the basket each time a goal was scored.

In 1959, James Naismith was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (called the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.)

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