The Most Influential
People in History
James Naismith invented basketball on or about December 1, 1891 at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts where he was a physical education instructor. Naismith prepared 13 simple rules embodying five principles that still govern today's game: 1. There must be a ball--large, and handled with the hands. 2. There shall be no running with the ball. 3. No member of either team shall be restricted from getting the ball at any time it is in play. 4. Both teams are to occupy the same area, yet there is to be no personal contact. 5. The goal shall be horizontal and elevated. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts was incorporated in 1959. He is also credited with inventing the protective helmet for football players. If Naismith had not done his part, then there would be no Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Key Reference: James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball by Bob Rains, 2011.
1861 – 1939
American (Canadian-born) Physical Educator
Sports Ranking 4th of 12
Commemorating the 100th anniversary
of basketball in 1961. U.S. stamp.