Basketball Hall of Fame
James Naismith's Resume

James Naismith's original résumé prepared by Hellen Naismith Dodd, January 6, 1959

James Naismith

Born: November 6, 1861 in Almonte, Ontario, Canada
Died: November 28, 1939 in Lawrence, Kansas
Height: 5-foot-10 1/2,
Weight: 168-180 pounds
Naturalized: May 4, 1925


To create an indoor game that would provide an "athletic distraction" for a rowdy class through the brutal New England winter. Under orders from Dr. Luther Gulick, head of physical education at the School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College), Naismith had 14 days to create a game for a group of 18 students who were training to become executive secretaries.


University of Kansas
Professor of Physical Education, 1917-1937

University of Kansas
Professor and University Physician, 1909-1917

University of Kansas
First Basketball Coach, 1898-1907

University of Kansas
Associate Professor and Chapel Director, 1898-1909

YMCA of Denver
Instructor in Physical Education, 1895-1898

Springfield College
Instructor in Physical Education, 1890-1895

McGill University
Instructor in Physical Education, 1887-1890


Thool Seminary, 1887-1890
Silver medal (1890), second highest award for regular and special honor work in Theology
Activities: soccer, rugby, track, lacrosse, tumbling, drilled with Royal Scots

McGill University, B.A., 1883-1887
Gold Wickstead Medal (1887), Best All-Around Athlete
Silver Cup (1886), first prize for one-mile walk
Silver Wickstead Medal (1885), Best All-Around Athlete
Awarded one of McGill's first varsity letters
Activities: soccer, rugby, track, lacrosse, tumbling, drilled with Royal Scots

Almonte High School, Ontario, Canada, 1875-1877, 1881-1883
Dropped out for four years, re-entered and graduated

Bennie's Corner Grade School, Ontario, Canada, 1867-1875


Y.M.C.A. program, lecturer of Moral Conditions and Sex Education, 1917-1919
Chaplain, First Kansas Infantry on Mexican Border, 1916
Chaplain/Captain, First Kansas Infantry, 1914-1917


  • Pi Gamma Mu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Mason
  • Camping, Canoeing, Woodwork
  • Author of numerous basketball articles, including Basket Ball Guides (1892-1895) and the History of Basket Ball
  • Married Maude E. Sherman (1894) in Springfield, Mass.
  • Maude Naismith passed away on March 3, 1937; re-married Florence Kincaid, June 11, 1939
  • Five children with Maude: Margaret (1895), Hellen (1897), John (1900), Maude (1904) and James (1913)
  • Elected to American Academy of Physical Education (1941) posthumously.
  • Sent to Berlin, Germany to introduce Basket Ball into the Olympic program (1936)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame