Dr. , professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas has unearthed what seems to be the only existing audio recording of James Naismith, the inventor of the sport of Basketball. The audio is from a radio program called “We the People”. It is from 31st January, 1939 and the interviewer is Gabriel Heatter.
In the audio, Mr. Naismith describes how he came about inventing the game of Basketball. Apparently in Springfield College in Massachusetts where Mr. Naismith was appointed in 1981, students could not go outside and play for weeks due to a blizzard. In order to keep the students occupied, he started the first game of basketball by using two peach baskets, an old football and dividing the students into two teams of 9 players.
In the audio, Mr. Naismith explains that the non-existence of rules in the first game resulted in students tackling and punching each other for the ball. So, before the next game, Mr. Naismith introduced a few rules the most important of which was the rule that running with the ball was not allowed. “That stopped tackling and slugging. We tried out the game with those rules, and we didn’t have one casualty. We had a fine, clean sport,” Said Mr. Naismith.
James Naismith was born on 6th November, 1861 in Canada. Apart from being a Basketball coach, he had also served as the Athletics Director of Kansas Jayhawks. The interview was recorded while Mr. Naismith was attending a basketball doubleheader in New York City. he breathed his last on 28th November, 1939. Since his death, James Naismith has been posthumously indicted in multiple hall of fames including the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame.