SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield is known as the Birthplace of Basketball, and Springfield College in particular is where the game was invented in 1891.
A statue of the sport’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith, stands at Springfield College, and there are further honors at Springfield College’s museum, including Naismith’s original basketball and basket.
22News spoke Thursday with James Naismith, the grandson and namesake of the sport’s inventor. He told 22News that his grandfather wanted to invent a game that dealt with excellence and spiritualism; a recreation game that could be set up by those who run YMCAs around the world.
“He loved games, he loved the hard sports, but he saw this opportunity to work with young people, young men in general, but also young women,” Naismith said. “It started as a men’s and women’s sport.”
Naismith, who lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, said that he never knew his grandfather, but wanted to learn everything that he could about him, given his great accomplishments. He will be one of the guests of honor during Friday night’s Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony at Springfield Symphony Hall.