|James Naismith (http://www.kshs.org/portraits/graphics/naismith_ja ( Kansas Historical Society))|
Naismith is one of the most important persons in sports history. He invented
one of the most popular sports today, basketball. He also pushed the limits of
literacy, art, science, and technology for new hopes. That is why I consider
James Naismith a "Renaissance Man."
Dr. James Naismith was born on
November 6, 1861 in Almonte, Ontario, Canada (Logan). He dropped out of high
school early, but eventually went back to finish. Dr. Naismith went to the
college of McGill University to become an athletic director. After he received
his diploma, he moved to the U.S. In Denver Colorado he was a physical
education director for the YMCA(Dr. James Naismith-The Inventor of Basketball).
After that from 1897-1907 he was a basketball coach for Kansas(Dr. James
Naismith-The Inventor of Basketball).
While working for the YMCA, Dr.
Naismith's director asked some other teachers and him to invent a game to
replace the boring and dangerous sports played during winter months(Compton's
by Britannica). By taking parts of sports that already existed, Naismith
created the game of basketball. His new game used thirteen rules. The game
didn't involve much contact, and consisted of two peach crates being nailed to
each end of the gym. There were nine players on each team running up and down
the court dribbling and passing a ball trying to throw it in the peach baskets.
Thus the game of basketball.
Not only did James Naismith create
basketball, he is also credited for inventing the first football helmet. Dr.
Naismith also created many smaller games such as Duck-on-a-rock(Dr. James
Naismith-The Inventor of Basketball).
If it wasn't for other sports
existing at the time, Dr. Naismith most likely wouldn't have come up with the
game of basketball. He took ideas from other sports such as American football,
soccer, and field hockey to create his own game (Compton's by Britannica).
The game of basketball changed the
way people live because a lot of people in the NBA come from different
countries around the world. Basketball gave hope to those who needed it
(Bellis). Many kids in other countries could be amazing at sports, but a lot
wouldn't know because they never got the chance to play. Some of the kids that
have the opportunity to try a sport may be good enough to play in a higher
league in the U.S.
The game also changed the way people
view the world. Some people and kids love basketball so much, they devote their
lives to the game. Basketball is everything to some people, like me. Also, many
kids are trying harder in school to keep their grades up so they can play
sports like basketball. Professional athletes talk to schools about kids
dropping out of school. They tell them
it's not the right thing to do and that they need to stay in school so when
they get older they can get a good job. Many kids set high goals for themselves
to achieve, like being the best basketball player. For some, the sport is more
than a game, it's a passion (Dr. James Naismith-The inventor of Basketball).
This is why basketball changes the way people think about everything.
Today we see basketball practically
everywhere. There are hundreds of high school teams, college teams, and the NBA
(Bellis). Many people in the world have either heard, played, or seen
basketball. The game is everywhere.
If Dr. Naismith had not thought of
such an amazing game and didn't invent basketball, I think things would be a
lot different. I think more and more kids would have dropped out of school,
many kids wouldn't play a sport at all, and wouldn't get enough exercise and
they could become unhealthy.
In conclusion I think James Naismith
meets the definition of a "Renaissance Man." He pushes the limits of
literacy, art, science, and technology, for new hopes. That is why I think he
is an important person in our history.