James Naismith
James Naismith

Celebrity Profile

Name: James Naismith
Occupation: Doctor
Gender: Male
Birth Day: November 6, 1861
Death Date: Nov 28, 1939 (age 78)
Age: Aged 78
Birth Place: Almonte, Canada
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
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James Naismith

James Naismith was born on November 6, 1861 in Almonte, Canada (78 years old). James Naismith is a Doctor, zodiac sign: Scorpio. Find out James Naismithnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He played several sports at McGill University, including lacrosse and soccer. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is named after him.

Does James Naismith Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, James Naismith died on Nov 28, 1939 (age 78).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He studied physical education in Montreal before moving to the U.S. and working at the YMCA.

Biography Timeline


Naismith was born on November 6, 1861, in Almonte, Canada West (now part of Mississippi Mills, Ontario, Canada) to Scottish immigrants. He never had a middle name and never signed his name with an "A" initial. The "A" was added by someone in administration at the University of Kansas.


Struggling in school but gifted in farm labour, Naismith spent his days outside playing catch, hide-and-seek, and duck on a rock, a medieval game in which a person guards a large drake stone from opposing players, who try to knock it down by throwing smaller stones at it. To play duck on a rock most effectively, Naismith soon found that a soft lobbing shot was far more effective than a straight hard throw, a thought that later proved essential for the invention of basketball. Orphaned early in his life, Naismith lived with his aunt and uncle for many years and attended grade school at Bennies Corners near Almonte. Then, he enrolled in Almonte High School, in Almonte, Ontario, from which he graduated in 1883.


The first game of "Basket Ball" was played in December 1891. In a handwritten report, Naismith described the circumstances of the inaugural match; in contrast to modern basketball, the players played nine versus nine, handled a soccer ball, not a basketball, and instead of shooting at two hoops, the goals were a pair of peach baskets: "When Mr. Stubbins brot [sic] up the peach baskets to the gym I secured them on the inside of the railing of the gallery. This was about 10 feet from the floor, one at each end of the gymnasium. I then put the 13 rules on the bulletin board just behind the instructor's platform, secured a soccer ball, and awaited the arrival of the class ... The class did not show much enthusiasm, but followed my lead ... I then explained what they had to do to make goals, tossed the ball up between the two center men and tried to keep them somewhat near the rules. Most of the fouls were called for running with the ball, though tackling the man with the ball was not uncommon." In contrast to modern basketball, the original rules did not include what is known today as the dribble. Since the ball could only be moved up the court by a pass early players tossed the ball over their heads as they ran up court. Also following each "goal", a jump ball was taken in the middle of the court. Both practices are obsolete in the rules of modern basketball.

The original rules of basketball written by James Naismith in 1891, considered to be basketball's founding document, was auctioned at Sotheby's, New York, in December 2010. Josh Swade, a University of Kansas alumnus and basketball enthusiast, went on a crusade in 2010 to persuade moneyed alumni to considering bidding on and hopefully winning the document at auction to give it to the University of Kansas. Swade eventually persuaded David G. Booth, a billionaire investment banker and KU alumnus, and his wife Suzanne Booth, to commit to bidding at the auction. The Booths won the bidding and purchased the document for a record US$4,338,500, the most ever paid for a sports memorabilia item, and gave the document to the University of Kansas. Swade's project and eventual success are chronicled in a 2012 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "There's No Place Like Home" and in a corresponding book, The Holy Grail of Hoops: One Fan's Quest to Buy the Original Rules of Basketball. The University of Kansas constructed an $18 million building named the Debruce Center, which houses the rules and opened in March 2016.


By 1892, basketball had grown so popular on campus that Dennis Horkenbach (editor-in-chief of The Triangle, the Springfield college newspaper) featured it in an article called "A New Game", and there were calls to call this new game "Naismith Ball", but Naismith refused. By 1893, basketball was introduced internationally by the YMCA movement. From Springfield, Naismith went to Denver, where he acquired a medical degree, and in 1898, he joined the University of Kansas faculty at Lawrence.


The University of Kansas men's basketball program officially began following Naismith's arrival in 1898, which was six years after Naismith drafted the sport's first official rules. Naismith was not initially hired to coach basketball, but rather as a chapel director and physical-education instructor. In those early days, the majority of the basketball games were played against nearby YMCA teams, with YMCAs across the nation having played an integral part in the birth of basketball. Other common opponents were Haskell Indian Nations University and William Jewell College. Under Naismith, the team played only one current Big 12 school: Kansas State (once). Naismith was, ironically, the only coach in the program's history to have a losing record (55–60). However, Naismith coached Forrest "Phog" Allen, his eventual successor at Kansas, who went on to join his mentor in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. When Allen became a coach himself and told him that he was going to coach basketball at Baker University in 1904, Naismith discouraged him: "You can't coach basketball; you just play it." Instead, Allen embarked on a coaching career that would lead him to be known as "the Father of Basketball Coaching". During his time at Kansas, Allen coached Dean Smith (1952 National Championship team) and Adolph Rupp (1922 Helms Foundation National Championship team). Smith and Rupp have joined Naismith and Allen as members of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

In 1898, Naismith became the first basketball coach of University of Kansas also known as the first basketball coach in the world. He compiled a record of 55–60 and is ironically the only losing coach in Kansas history. Naismith is at the beginning of a massive and prestigious coaching tree, as he coached Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach Phog Allen, who himself coached Hall of Fame coaches Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, and Ralph Miller who all coached future coaches as well.


By the turn of the century, enough college teams were in the East that the first intercollegiate competitions could be played out. Although the sport continued to grow, Naismith long regarded the game as a curiosity and preferred gymnastics and wrestling as better forms of physical activity. However, basketball became a demonstration sport at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis. As the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame reports, Naismith was not interested in self-promotion nor was he interested in the glory of competitive sports. Instead, he was more interested in his physical-education career; he received an honorary PE masters degree in 1910, patrolled the Mexican border for four months in 1916, traveled to France, and published two books (A Modern College in 1911 and Essence of a Healthy Life in 1918). He took American citizenship on May 4, 1925. In 1909, Naismith's duties at Kansas were redefined as a professorship; he served as the de facto athletic director at Kansas for much of the early 20th century.


In 1923, Dr. Naismith was a founder of the Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) fraternity at Kansas. Naismith was deeply involved with the members, serving as chapter counselor for 16 years, from 1923 until his death in 1939. He eventually married SigEp's housemother, Mrs. Florence Kincaid. Members who were interviewed during that era remembered Dr. Naismith: "He was deeply religious", "He listened more than he spoke", "He thought sports were nothing but an avenue to keep young people involved so they could do their studies and relate to their community", and "It was real nice having someone with the caliber of Dr. Naismith be so involved ... he helped many a SigEp!"


In 1935, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (founded by Naismith's pupil Phog Allen) collected money so the 74-year-old Naismith could witness the introduction of basketball into the official Olympic sports program of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. There, Naismith handed out the medals to three North American teams: the United States, for the gold medal, Canada, for the silver medal, and Mexico, for their bronze medal. During the Olympics, he was named the honorary president of the International Basketball Federation. When Naismith returned, he commented that seeing the game played by many nations was the greatest compensation he could have received for his invention. In 1937, Naismith played a role in the formation of the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball, which later became the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).


Naismith became professor emeritus at Kansas when he retired in 1937 at the age of 76. In addition to his years as a coach, for a total of almost 40 years, Naismith worked at the school and during those years, he also served as its athletic director, and he was also a faculty member at the school. In 1939, Naismith suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage. He was interred at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas. His masterwork "Basketball — its Origins and Development" was published posthumously in 1941. In Lawrence, James Naismith has a road named in his honor, Naismith Drive, which runs in front of Allen Fieldhouse and James Naismith Court therein are named in his honor, despite Naismith having the worst record in school history. Naismith Hall, a dormitory, is located on the northeastern edge of 19th Street and Naismith Drive.


In a radio interview in January 1939, Naismith gave more details of the first game and the initial rules that were used:


Naismith invented the game of basketball and wrote the original 13 rules of this sport; for comparison, the NBA rule book features 66 pages. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, is named in his honor, and he was an inaugural inductee in 1959. The National Collegiate Athletic Association rewards its best players and coaches annually with the Naismith Awards, among them the Naismith College Player of the Year, the Naismith College Coach of the Year, and the Naismith Prep Player of the Year. After the Olympic introduction to men's basketball in 1936, women's basketball became an Olympic event in Montreal during the 1976 Summer Olympics. Naismith was also inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame, the Kansas State Sports Hall of Fame, FIBA Hall of Fame. The FIBA Basketball World Cup trophy is named the "James Naismith Trophy" in his honor. On June 21, 2013, Dr. Naismith was inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Topeka.


In July 2019, Naismith was inducted into the Canada Walk of Fame.

Family Life

Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by his uncle and aunt in Almonte, Canada. James was married to Maude Evelyn Sherman from 1894-1937, then to Florence B. Kincaid in 1939, the year he died.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, James Naismith is 161 years, 6 months and 25 days old. James Naismith will celebrate 162nd birthday on a Monday 6th of November 2023. Below we countdown to James Naismith upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

157th birthday - Tuesday, November 6, 2018

148th birthday - Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009 – Eleventh Stack

1 post published by eleventh stack on November 6, 2009

James Naismith 148th birthday timeline

James Naismith trends


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