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Dr. James Naismith

Dr. James Naismith

The father of basketball, James Naismith helped stage and lent his name to the first National College Basketball tournament (NAIB) at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City in 1937.  The first NAIB tournament (now NAIA) was held one year prior to the first NIT tournament in 1938 and two years prior to the inaugural NCAA tournament in 1939. . .Naismith was a physical education instructor at Springfield College between 1890 and 1895 where he invented an indoor game that could be played between football and baseball.  He developed basketball’s original 13 rules and through the YMCA network, quickly spread the news throughout the country.  As the popularity of the sport grew, Naismith neither sought publicity nor engaged in self-promotion.  Naismith spent three years at the YMCA in Denver, Colo., (1895-98) before spending the remainder of his career at the University of Kansas as the head coach (1898-1907), athletic director (1919-37) and professor (1909-13) except from 1914 to 1919 when he served in the military.  In 10 seasons, he compiled a record of 55-60…Since his death in 1939, Naismith has been selected to 10 different Hall-of-Fames, including six in his native country of Canada. Promoted basketball to be adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and was among those that successfully led the movement that saw the sport gain official sport status at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.  In 1936, when basketball made its debut in the Olympics, the NABC collected money so that the 74-year-old Naismith could witness the historic event.  During the Olympics, he was named the honorary president of the International Basketball Federation.

Please see below the induction of Dr. James Naismith into the 2016 SCB Hall of Fame