Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

James Naismith and Basketball


hoopBasketball became an official Olympic sport in 1936, just 45 years after it had been invented by James Naismith. As a young teacher, Naismith took over an unruly gym class, and he was challenged to educate and control the young men in his care. After having little success with the conventional activities and sports, Naismith decided to make up a game of his own, and the sport of basketball was born. His experiment with his original 13 rules was successful, and the boys in the gym class eagerly returned day after day to work on their game. When the holiday break arrived in 1891, the students shared the new game with friends and family, and excitement for the game spread quickly.

James Naismith went on to coach and teach at the University of Kansas. He is often quoted as saying,  “You can’t coach basketball, you just play it.” Naismith’s original 13 rules now reside in Kansas.

Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball by John Coy, illustrated by Joe Morse (Carolrhoda, 2013)

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