Dr. James Naismith was born on 6th November 1861, died on 28th November 1939). He was an American Sports coach and innovator born in Canada. In 1891 he invented the sport of basketball. He is often credited with introducing the first football helmet. The original basketball rule book that was found at the University of Kansas basketball program was written by Dr. James Naismith. In 1904, he lived to see basketball adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport and later on in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin became an official event.
Prior to moving in the United States, he studied Physical Education course in Montreal, Canada. In the late 1891, he developed basketball while teaching at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Before moving to the University of Kansas he studied medicine in Denver taking his MD in 1898. He became the Kansas Jayhawks athletic director after serving as a faculty member and part-time basketball coach for a decade (1898-1907) in the University of Kansas. In 1925 Dr. James Naismith became a U.S. citizen in Lawrence, Kansas.
Dr. James Naismith also had a significant contribution in the US Military. While serving as a National Guard chaplain with the First Kansas Infantry Regiment, his effort helped lowered the rate of disciplinary actions and especially increased morale among soldiers. He was a fraternity member with Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Gamma Mu. Discussing about Naismith’s spiritual beliefs, he was a Presbyterian Minister and also remembered as a Freemason.
Born in now part of Mississippi Mills, Ontario called Ramsay Township back in 1861 to Scottish immigrants Margaret Young (b. 1833) and John Naismith (b. 1852). Both of his parents settled in Lanark County, Canada. Hi father worked as a saw hand after marrying, unfortunately the couple soon contracted typhoid fever and died when Dr. James Naismith was just 9 years old. Orphaned early in his life, he lived with his aunt and uncle for many years. He attended grade school at Bennies Corners near Almonte. He attended High School at Almonte High School in Almonte, Ontario, Canada where he graduated in 1883.
Dr. James Naismith Married Maude Evelyn Sherman (b. 6 Sept 1870 – d. 4 Mar 1937) in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. Dr. James Naismith and Sherman had five children, to mention in order; Margaret Mason-Stanley (2 Jul 1895 – Oct 1976), Helen Carolyn-Dodd (21 Dec 1897 – 21 Aug 1980), John Edwin (3 Nov 1900 – 18 Dec 1986), Maude Ann-Dawe (22 Oct 1904 – Apr 1972), James Sherman (7 May 1913 – 6 May 1980).
Following Maude Sherman’s death in 1937, Dr. James Naismith married his second wife Florence Kincaid on 11 June 1939. On 19 November of the same year of his second marriage, he suffered a major brain hemorrhage, nine days later he died in his home located at Lawrence, Kansas. Dr. James Naismith died at the age of 78. He was buried next to his first wife Sherman in Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas. His second wife Kincaid died at the age of 98 in 1977 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery Beloit, Kansas with her first husband Dr. Frank Kincaid.
As the inventor of this sport he has written the original 13 rules of basketball game. In 1959, he was an inaugural inductee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, named in his honour in Springfield, Massachusetts. In the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, women basketball became an Olympic event following the 1936 Olympic introduction to make athletes.
Apart from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Dr. James Naismith was also inducted to various honours to name a few, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, Ontario Sports Legends Hall of Fame, Kansas State Sports Hall of Fame, McGill University Sports Hall of Fame, FIBA Hall of Fame. Today, more than 300 million people playing basketball worldwide, ranking it as one of the most popular team sports. Basketball has produced some of the most-admired athletes in history, continually influencing sports fanatics.