Naismith, James (1861-1939), Canadian-American teacher of physical education, recognized as the inventor of the sport of basketball. He was born in Almonte, Ontario, Canada, and educated at McGill University and Presbyterian College in Montréal. He taught physical education from 1887 to 1890 at McGill University, and from 1890 to 1895 at the Young Men's Christian Association Training School (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1891, aided by the American physical-education specialist Luther Halsey Gulick, he invented basketball as an indoor sport. Naismith developed the game as an activity for his students during the harsh winter months. He was director of physical education at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in Denver (1895-1898) and at the University of Kansas (1898-1937). As one of the most significant contributors to the sport of basketball, Naismith was voted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. Officially called the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, the institution was named in his honor and is located in Springfield.
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