top of page

Emil S. Liston

Emil Liston was the driving force in the creation of the first collegiate basketball national championship tournament.  With the help of his friends, Dr. James Naismith and Frank Cramer, his dream became a reality in March of 1937 when he spearheaded the America’s first national championship at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri.  That tournament eventually became the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball, which morphed into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Liston coached Baker University to Kansas Conference championships in 1930 and 1937 and to national tournament berths in 1937 and 1941.  He continued to coach at Baker until 1945 when he resigned to become the NAIB’s first full-time executive secretary, a position he had held on a part-time basis beginning in 1940 … Liston, who was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975, continues to be honored to this day as the Emil S. Liston Scholarship is awarded annually to one NAIA junior men’s basketball player and one NAIA junior women’s basketball player in recognition for their outstanding academic and athletic excellence.

Please see below the induction video of Emil S. Liston into the 2017 SCB Hall of Fame 

bottom of page