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James Naismith Biography

Combined Sports And Spirituality, Created A New Indoor Sport, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Recognized As The Father Of Basketball

1861-1939

Canadian physical education teacher

The Canadian-born physical education instructor James Naismith made an indelible mark on sports history when he invented the game of basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts, in December 1891. With a soccer ball, two peach baskets, a ladder, and ten written rules, Naismith created the sport within two weeks, after he was asked to come up with an indoor game to keep students active during the severe New England winter. Word about "basket ball," as it was originally called, spread quickly, and by 1900 the game had gained popularity at universities across the country. Although Naismith had played the game only a handful of times, he lived to see his brainchild become an international sport, making its Olympic debut in 1936, three years before his death.

Sketch by Wendy Kagan

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Famous Sports StarsSoccer