Google today showcased a doodle celebrating the legacy of Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian-American physical educator, professor, doctor and coach, who invented the Basketball game.
Dr. Naismith was born on November 6, 1861, in Ontario, Canada. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a diploma from Presbyterian College in Montreal. He taught physical education at McGill University in Montreal and served as director of athletics.
In 1890, while Dr. Naismith was teaching at the YMCA International Training College in Springfield, he was asked to develop an indoor game to keep his footballers in condition during the cold winter. By adapting some elements from different games, he invented the basketball game in 1891. Thus with two peach baskets, a soccer ball, and just ten rules, the game of “basketball” was born.
The game initially featured teams of nine players and combined elements of outdoor sports such as American football, soccer, and field hockey. The sport became popular over the following years, and in 1936, basketball made its Olympic debut in Berlin, Germany. At the debut Olympics, Dr. James Naismith threw the ball for the tip-off to commence the first game.
According to Dr. Naismith, basketball is a perfect sport for all to better themselves physically and mentally. Throughtout his lifetime he took steps to help basketball reach more young people, and it has since evolved into a global phenomenon that crosses racial and gender barriers.
Dr. Naismith who passed away on November 28, 1939, in Lawrence, Kansas is honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.