Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
James Naismith was a Canadian-American physical education director who invented the game of basketball.
See the fact file below for more information on the James Naismith or alternatively, you can download our 26-page James Naismith worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- James Naismith was born on November 6, 1861, in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. He was the second child of Scottish immigrants.
- In 1869, James moved with his family to Grand Calumet, where his father began work as a saw hand.
- However, he was orphaned at the age of nine. James Naismith went to live with his aunt and uncle.
- He then attended grade school at Bennies Corners, and he later enrolled in Almonte High School, in Almonte, Ontario, from which he graduated in 1883.
- At McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, James Naismith enrolled in a four-year Bachelor of Arts program.
- He soon began participating in the gymnastic and rugby programs. By his junior year, he was winning the university’s highest honors for his athletic involvement.
- Jim also had time for extracurricular activities, joining the student government and Literary Society for which he debated. He was also a member of the Society choir.
- In 1887, he was listed on the Prize and Honour List for having passed the Bachelor of Arts in Honours in Philosophy and Hebrew. He also graduated as one of the top ten in his class.
- After graduation, Jim enrolled in the Presbyterian College. To finance his education, he accepted an appointment as instructor of physical education in the gymnasium at McGill University.
- During his free hours, he played lacrosse and rugby, a hard hitting sport that some considered a tool of the devil.
- In 1890, Naismith traveled to Springfield to enroll at the YMCA Training school. He took and taught various courses and played rugby for the YMCA.
- While working for them in 1891, he was tasked with introducing a new indoor game with two main objectives – “make it fair for all players, and free of rough play”.
- Naismith turned to the childhood games of “Duck on a Rock” as he developed this new game, which would come to be known as basketball.
- Invented in 1891, Naismith created 13 basic rules in basketball and started out using 10-foot high peach baskets as the goals for each 9-player team.
- In 1904, basketball was a demonstration sport at the Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri.
- By 1936, the sport became an official event at the Summer Olympics in Berlin.
- In 1937, he helped form the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball, later to be recognized as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
- He lived long enough to see the beginnings of the National Invitation Tournament (1938) and the NCAA Tournament (1939).
- Including his years as coach, Naismith served as athletic director and faculty at the school for almost 40 years.
CAREER AND LATER LIFE
- Naismith had long a career in physical education, teaching with the YMCA while he earned his medical degree.
- He accepted the positions of Physical Education Director, Campus Chaplain, and Basketball Coach at the University of Kansas. He remained there from 1898 until his retirement in 1938.
- Naismith also served twice in the military, including WWI in France, and he saw the sport of basketball admitted into the Olympic Family of sports at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. This became the highlight of his career according to Naismith.
- In 1923, Dr. Naismith was a founder of the Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) fraternity at Kansas. He was deeply involved with the members, serving as chapter counselor for 16 years, and he even married SigEp’s housemother, Florence Kincaid.
- Naismith became professor emeritus at Kansas when he retired in 1937 at 76 years old. His legacy is reflected in the games played around the world and in the basketball nets that adorn garages, walls, and barns in communities abroad.
- In 1939, Naismith suffered a severe brain hemorrhage and died nine days later on November 28, 1939, in his Lawrence, Kansas, home at the age of 78.
- His seminal work, Basketball — its Origins and Development, was published two years after his death.
- Naismith invented the game of basketball and wrote the original 13 rules of this sport, compared to the NBA rule book that now has 66 pages.
- In Naismith’s honor, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, is named after him. he was an inaugural inductee in 1959.
- The FIBA Basketball World Cup trophy is also named the “James Naismith Trophy” in Naismith’s honor. On June 21, 2013, he was inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame.
- Today, basketball is played by more than 300 million people worldwide, making it one of the most popular team sports on Earth.
James Naismith Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the James Naismith across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use James Naismith worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about James Naismith who was a Canadian-American physical education director who invented the game of basketball.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- James Naismith Facts
- Naismith Data
- Duck on a Rock
- The Game
- 13 Rules
- Players on Court
- Forming a Team
- The Sixth Man
- Gear Over Time
- The Legends
- Founding Fathers
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as James Naismith Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 1, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.