Home Curiosità James Naismith, ecco chi è l’inventore del basket

James Naismith, ecco chi è l’inventore del basket


James Naismith è stato un insegnante, allenatore di pallacanestro e inventore canadese naturalizzato statunitense nel 1925. Nato il 6 novembre 1861 e morto il 28 novembre 1939. Docente di educazione fisicaì e laureato in medicinaì, secondo le ultime notizie sul suo conto fu colui che inventò la pallacanestro. E oggi 15 gennaio 2021, Google dedica a lui il suo doodle.

Scrisse infatti le prime 13 regole fondamentali del gioco ed organizzò la prima partita sperimentale, che venne disputata il 21 dicembre 1891 dal cosiddetto First Team presso una palestra dello Springfield College situata ad Armory Street, a Springfield, Massachusetts.

Fu allo Springfield College che il dottor Luther Halsey Gulick, responsabile del corso di educazione fisica, chiese a Naismith di cercare qualcosa che potesse distrarre e divertire gli studenti durante le lezioni invernali di ginnastica, che si tenevano al coperto a causa del rigido inverno. In particolare Gulick lo incaricò di inventare un gioco di facile apprendimento da disputare indoor, con poche occasioni di contatto, e che non incidesse troppo sulle casse dell’economato.

James Naismith, chi è stato e cosa ha inventato

Nel suo tentativo di idearne uno nuovo, Naismith si ispirò ad un gioco che aveva conosciuto da bambino in Ontario, chiamato “Duck-on-a-rock” (in italiano: “anatra su una roccia”), il cui fattore cruciale era il tiro a parabola di un sasso. Pensò inoltre ad alcuni giochi antichi, come l’azteco Tlachtli ed il maya Pok-Ta-Pok; analizzò poi gli sport di squadra più in voga all’epoca (football americano, rugby, lacrosse, calcio).

Dopo circa due settimane di lavoro, Naismith scrisse cinque principî fondamentali. Essi erano i seguenti:

  • Il gioco è praticato con un pallone rotondo, che può essere toccato esclusivamente con le mani.
  • Non è permesso camminare con il pallone fra le mani.
  • I giocatori possono posizionarsi in qualsiasi posizione essi preferiscano, nel corso del gioco.
  • Non è consentito alcun contatto fisico tra i giocatori.
  • Il goal è posizionato orizzontalmente, in alto.

Il 21 dicembre 1891 Naismith tradusse questi principî in tredici regole, che divennero la base di ciò che il giornale studentesco universitario Triangle definì: «A new game» (in italiano: «Un gioco nuovo»). Nello stesso giorno organizzò la prima partita sperimentale della storia, disputata dal cosiddetto First Team: un gruppo di 18 giocatori (gli studenti della classe dello stesso Naismith), suddivisi in due squadre di nove ciascuno. L’incontro terminò con il risultato di 1-0.

Le tredici regole vennero pubblicate sul The Triangle il 15 gennaio 1892: nacque così ufficialmente il nuovo gioco del basket ball (in italiano: palla al cesto).

Naismith organizzò la prima partita ufficiale l’11 marzo 1892 (secondo alcuni si giocò il 2 marzo). Fu un incontro disputato tra una squadra di docenti ed una di studenti; vinsero i primi con il risultato di 5-1.

Naismith insegnò allo Springfield College fino al 1895, anno in cui si trasferì allo YMCA di Denver. Nel frattempo si sposò con Maude Sherman il 20 giugno 1894, presso la Hope Congregational Church di Springfield; la coppia ebbe cinque figli.

Trasferitosi in Colorado, continuò ad insegnare educazione fisica, divenendo anche direttore del corso. Nel 1898 si laureò in medicina alla Gross Medical School di Denver. Dopo la laurea si trasferì all’Università del Kansas a Lawrence; in Kansas continuò ad insegnare educazione fisica, e contemporaneamente introdusse gli studenti al gioco della pallacanestro. Mantenne l’incarico di insegnante fino al 1937, anno in cui andò in pensione.

Fu il primo allenatore di pallacanestro della storia: guidò infatti i Kansas Jayhawks dal 1898 al 1907. Nell’arco di nove stagioni sedette in panchina in 115 occasioni, vincendo 55 incontri e perdendone 60.


fonte: it.wikipedia.org

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