James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketballby Rob Rains
It seems unlikely that James Naismith, who grew up playing “Duck on the Rock” in the rural community of Almonte, Canada, would invent one of America’s most popular sports. But Rob Rains and Hellen Carpenter’s fascinating, in-depth biography James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball shows how this young man—who wanted to be a medical… See more details below
It seems unlikely that James Naismith, who grew up playing “Duck on the Rock” in the rural community of Almonte, Canada, would invent one of America’s most popular sports. But Rob Rains and Hellen Carpenter’s fascinating, in-depth biography James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball shows how this young man—who wanted to be a medical doctor, or if not that, a minister (in fact, he was both)—came to create a game that has endured for over a century.
James Naismith reveals how Naismith invented basketball in part to find an indoor activity to occupy students in the winter months. When he realized that the key to his game was that men could not run with the ball, and that throwing and jumping would eliminate the roughness of force, he was on to something. And while Naismith thought that other sports provided better exercise, he was pleased to create a game that “anyone could play.”
With unprecedented access to the Naismith archives and documents, Rains and Carpenter chronicle how Naismith developed the 13 rules of basketball, coached the game at the University of Kansas—establishing college basketball in the process—and was honored for his work at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.
"All of us who played, coached or enjoyed watching the game of basketball owe a great debt of thanks to James Naismith for devising a game that gave people the opportunity to play inside during the winter."
"Dr. Naismith was so much more than the inventor of the sport and James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball is a well written documentation of his outstanding attributes as an educator, religious scholar and leader of young people. Naismith lived his entire life without regard for personal glory or financial rewards, but rather for setting examples of integrity and perseverance for all to follow. Everyone who reads this book will have a better understanding of the evolution of the game, but more importantly, they will realize that when we follow Dr. Naismith’s general life principles, we and the game become the real winners."
"The original Dr. J played rugby, not hoops, and rocked a handlebar mustache, not a ’fro. That Doc is the subject of a spiffy new biography...More breezy bio than thatched thesis, Rains traces the foundation of basketball to “Duck on the Rock,” a game Naismith played as a child growing up in Canada. Years later, then-YMCA employee Naismith summoned basketball at the 11th hour to win a bet he could invent a new indoor game. If you want to get really old school, James Naismith is where it’s at."
- Temple University Press
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Meet the Author
Rob Rains is a former National League beat writer for USA Today's Baseball Weekly and for three years covered the St. Louis Cardinals for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. He is the author or co-author of autobiographies or biographies of Tony La Russa, Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, Jack Buck, Red Schoendienst and many other sports celebrities.
Hellen Carpenter is the granddaughter of James Naismith. For more than 40 years she had in her possession more than 200 documents from Naismith's files which were instrumental in crafting this biography.
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Its great about the history of basketball