Listen to James Naismith Explain How He Invented Basketball

Listen to James Naismith Explain How He Invented Basketball

For the first time ever, listen to the inventor of Basketball Dr. James Naismith explain how he created the game in a YMCA gymnasium in Springfield, Massachusetts in December 1891 in his own words.

“I showed them two peach baskets I’d nailed up at each end of the gym, and I told them the idea was to throw the ball into the opposing team’s peach basket,” Naismith said in a Midwestern accent that showed few traces of his family’s Scottish roots. “I blew a whistle, and the first game of basketball began.”

But “the boys began tackling, kicking and punching in the clinches,” Naismith said. “They ended up in a free-for-all in the middle of the gym floor.”

The rare audio was recorded from a January 31, 1939 radio broadcast during a doubleheader at Madison Square Garden.