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Sports Hall of Fame

Dr. James NaismithDr. James Naismith

While struggling to keep control of a rowdy class at the Springfield YMCA, James Naismith was given just 14 days to come up with an indoor game that would provide an “athletic distraction” and keep track athletes in shape but not put them in a position to be harmed. After extensively looking at games like rugby, lacrosse, soccer, football, hockey and baseball, Naismith invented the game of basketball and in 1891 the first game was played. The game does look significantly different now than it did back them, but his 13 original rules of the game were written. Naismith became the first coach of the University of Kansas basketball team and is ironically the only losing coach in program history with just a 55-60 record, but his invention of one of the most popular games in the world is not the only significant act in the sports world. Naismith also designed the first football helmet.

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