James Naismith – the inventor of Basketball and credited with introducing the first American football helmet – died on this day in 1939. He wrote the original basketball rulebook and founded the University of Kansas basketball program. Before he died he watched basketball being adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, as well as the birth of both the National Invitation Tournament (1938) and the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship (1939).
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