Tag Archives: Basketball

Naismith’s Gift Remembered

Today marks the 148th birthday of the inventor of basketball, Canadian born physical educator James A. Naismith.

Before we go any further, I think we ought to spend the rest of this post listening to a little musical accompaniment from the incomparable Kurtis Blow.

Mr. Naismith first invented the game in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Although he could have never foreseen the heights of popularity his sport eventually reached, he did live to see it become an Olympic sport in 1936, three years before his death on November 28, 1939.

Of course the library has a number of books on Naismith’s  grand game:

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Basketball / by Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Alex Sachare

The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac : Styles, Stats and Stars in Today’s Game

The Physics of Basketball / John J. Fontanella

And if you want to go “old school”, who better to get your information from than Adolph Rupp?

Rupp’s Championship Basketball for Player, Coach, and Fan

Happy birthday, Mr. Naismith, and thank you for one of the world’s greatest games!


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Shattering Anniversary

As one of Pittsburgh’s seventeen professional basketball fans I sometimes feel the urge to write about the NBA. November 5, 1946 is the anniversary of the NBA’s first shattered backboard, and the culprit was none other than Chuck Connors. Connors played The Rifleman on television, and acted in many other roles, but before he took up acting his passions were baseball and basketball. He was a good enough baseball player to reach the majors for brief stints, and he played a full season as the center of the Boston Celtics.

When most sports fans think of shattering backboards the vision of Darryl ‘Chocolate Thunder’ Dawkins comes to mind. As a teenager in the 1980’s Dawkins seemed larger than life, and watching highlights of his most awesome dunks still fills me with awe.

Both Connors and Dawkins receive excellent coverage in our suite of biography databases. You can also read about Dawkins in his autobiography:

Chocolate Thunder : the uncensored life and times of the NBA’s original showman / by Darryl Dawkins and Charley Rosen.

Scott Pyle


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