James A. Naismith: Creator of Basketball

James A. Naismith: Creator of Basketball

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Millions of players of basketball which was created by one man by the name of Dr. James A. Naismith. James Naismith was born around the 1860s. James Naismith created the game of basketball in 1891. Dr. James A. Naismith was truly influential to the sports world through the creation of basketball, building Kansas University basketball tradition, and changing lives of millions of people through the game of basketball.

Before the game of basketball James Naismith was truly influential to the sports world. According to James A. Naismith “as a young man, Naismith studied Theology and excelled in various sports. Naismith was always drawn to religion because he knew he wanted to help others, but his life's mission became clear to him one day during a football game: a football teammate began cursing after a blown play, but then stopped and apologized to Naismith, who was known for his morals. Naismith realized that "there might be other ways of doing well besides preaching" and got the idea that he could practice his ministry through sports” (1). James Naismith was always thought of as a man known for his morals. According to an article entitled James A. Naismith, “Naismith also is credited with inventing the helmet for football players. Which gives better safety to football players"(1). The football helmet is truly beneficial to football and sports world. The creation of basketball and before the creation of basketball was truly influential to the sports world.

Basketball has a huge impact on the sports world. Naismith began to think about a new game that could be played indoors during the winter. In two weeks, he’d come up with the basic concepts that would define the game basket ball: to discourage tackling, players would not be able to run with the ball, but made the game of basketball would was made to pass it; the players would have to loft the ball instead of shoot it. In 1891, Naismith was appointed an instructor by Luther Halsey Gulick, Jr. Head of Physical Education at Springfield. Naismith put sports together such as soccer, American Football, Field Hockey and other sports. “Naismith created the game of basket ball for players to play during football and baseball. The game started with two peach baskets, a soccer ball and 13 rules.”(Original Rules of Basketball 1) Rains and Carpenter said “Naismith loved the idea that a minimum of a basketball, a basket, and a place to play (52).

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This basketball an easy sport for the YMCA to take international. In 1898, Naismith became the Kansas University professor of physical education bringing the game of basketball with him.

Basketball has not always been popular at Kansas University. When Naismith went to Lawrence basketball was thought of as a "sissy" game (Rains and Hellen 72). In 1898 to 1937 Naismith was chairman of the physical education department at the University of Kansas. He also coached basketball until 1908 (James A. Naismith 1) On February 3, 1899, the first official men's basketball game in history of the University of Kansas was played at the Kansas City YMCA. According to the article James Naismith Invents Basketball “In 1903, Naismith got involved with the first women's basketball team."(1) Naismith was for the growth of basketball the men and women team. (73) Even though James Naismith was the coach of the men’s basketball he was very active with the women basketball team. Through the creation of basketball and building the tradition of Kansas Basketball Naismith changed many lives.

In 1939, Naismith thought the future looked good for basketball. According to estimates, the game was played by 20 million people around the world (Rains and Carpenter 169). James Naismith and a visionist by the name of Frank Cramer thought of the idea to bring a college basketball tournament to Kansas City. On March 10, 1937, Naismith and Cramer plans became official with an eight-team tournament at Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium (NAIA College Basketball's Toughest Tournament 7). According to Rains, "At the age of 56 Naismith joined the Army to be a Chaplin. Near the end of the war Naismith wrote a letter to his wife regarding the soldiers’ life after the war. Naismith decided he would write what the government could do to help the soldiers. Naismith came up with a plan similar to the G.I. Bill" (1). Naismith cared about everyone not just star basketball players. According to For Naismith, Basketball Was Only a Start, “Naismith became a beloved teacher at then University of Kansas mentoring students who never picked up a basketball”.(1) Making him truly influential to people in the sports world and not.

Dr. James A. Naismith, through the game of basketball, was truly influential to the sports world through the creation of basketball, building Kansas University basketball tradition and changing lives of million of people. Naismith said that "he wanted to leave the world a better place". Dr. James Naismith was so much more than the inventor of basketball he was an educator, religious scholar and leader of young people. Naismith did, “leave the world a better place.” James Naismith was truly influential through the game of basketball.


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