James A. Naismith: The Invention Of Basketball

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It’s amazing what a man with a peach basket, a ball, and a gym full of bored kids can do! That’s all James A. Naismith had to work with when he invented basketball in 1891.

Born in Ontario, Canada, Naismith studied to become a physical education teacher in Montreal before moving to Springfield, Massachusetts. That’s where he took charge of a rowdy class at the YMCA International Training School. The students were trapped indoors during the cold, snowy winters, so Naismith decided to invent a game to keep the cranky kids from being bored out of their minds!

With limited space in the cramped gym and the challenge of keeping the students safe, Naismith studied popular sports of the time, including rugby, lacrosse, soccer, football, and baseball.

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