Google celebrates Dr. James Naismith, inventor of basketball, with doodle

The sport was invented as a way to help students occupy their time during the unforgiving winter months.

Dr James Naismith: Google celebrates inventor of basketball with a doodle
Google, on Friday, marked the birth of basketball with a doodle dedicated to Dr. James Naismith - physical educator, professor, doctor, and coach who invented the sport and introduced it to his class on December 21, 1891. Few weeks later, on this day in 1892, the Canadian-American "announced the new game and its original rules in the pages of 'The Triangle', a Springfield College school newspaper," Google said in a blogpost.

The doodle shows two students taking shots at the basket, while an instructor modelled after Naismith - with a moustache and spectacles - makes notes, in an indoor gymnasium with snow falling outside.

Naismith was born near the town of Almonte in Ontario on November 6, 1861, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from McGill University, before going on to work as an instructor at the YMCA International Training College in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was here that he took a shot at developing a new indoor sport, intended to help students occupy their time during the unforgiving New England winter. The then-30-year-old instructor had envisioned the sport as a way for students to better themselves both physically and mentally


"With two peach baskets, a soccer ball, and just ten rules, the game of basket ball was born," the tech giant elaborated in its post on the doodle.

It was over a decade after being invented that basketball made its debut at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis as a demonstration sport. And it was only years later that it was included as an official event at the 1936 Games in Berlin.

Naismith passed away in 1939 at the age of 78, of a brain hemorrhage.
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In 1959, the Mecca of basketball history the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame was incorporated in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In the almost 130 years since its birth, basketball has gone from being a humble sport in a school gymnasium to an international colossus played in over 200 countries.
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