Naismith, James (nāˈsmĭth) [key], 1861–1939, American athletic director, inventor (1891) of basketball, b. Almonte, Ontario. While an instructor of physical education at the International YMCA Training School (now Springfield College) at Springfield, Mass., he originated basketball as a gymnasium sport. The game was originally played with a soccer ball and two peach bushel baskets, from which the game took its name. Twelve of the thirteen rules Naismith created are still basic to the game. Naismith was later (1898–1937) director of physical education at the Univ. of Kansas.
See biography by B. L. Webb (1973).