The Inventor of Basketball
25 Interesting Facts About James Naismith

inventor of basketball

Dr. James Naismith, 1933

The inventor of basketball led a very interesting life. Check out 25 fascinating facts about James Naismith that I bet you didn't know!

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Born in Canada on November 6, 1861

Mother died on his 9th birthday, and father died 3 weeks before

Played the violin

Dropped out of school at 15 years of age

Worked as a lumberjack for several years before going back to school at age 20

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Completed high school in 2 years

Presbyterian minister but never had a church

Good rugby and football player

Graduated college in top 10 of his class with degrees in philosophy & Hebrew

Daughter-in-law claims he eventually earned 11 degrees

james naismith

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One of his students, Amos Alonzo Stagg, went on to become one of the greatest football coaches in history

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Man who invented basketball is also credited with inventing the first football helmet

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Present when first football game and basketball game were played indoors

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Only played basketball twice in his life: once a few weeks after he invented it and then a second time 7 years later at the University of Kansas

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James Naismith had 5 children

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Doctor of medicine but never really practiced

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Inventor of basketball never understood why the simple game he created, with only 13 rules, should require much coaching

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His wife, Maude, played in the first women's basketball game at Springfield College.

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Served as Chapel Director/Athletic Director/Physical Education Department Head at the University of Kansas for a salary of $1,300 per year

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His basketball players had to use a ladder to get up and down from the Univ of Kansas basketball court after he had to lower the gym 5 feet into the basement to make the ceiling high enough to play

man who invented basketball

The man who invented basketball, James Naismith

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Cared little about making money and lost 2 houses to foreclosure for not making payments

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Man who invented basketball, a truly American sport, became a naturalized American citizen in 1925

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Served in the National Guard on the South Texas border

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Tossed up the ball for the opening tip-off at the very first Olympic basketball competition at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin

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James Naismith died of a stroke at his home on November 28, 1939

Read more about the inventor of basketball and the history of the game.

There have been a lot of changes in the game since the inventor of basketball published his 13 original rules. See the major rule changes that have had the greatest impact on the way the game is played today.


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