Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Canadian Created Basketball?

About six years ago, I was driving through Ontario on my way home from a week-long camping trip with a group of friends.

On our way to the United States border via Buffalo, my buddy and I (lets call him Craig) drove through this small Canadian township.

That's when something peculiar caught my eye.

Everywhere I turned I saw the name Naismith.

On signs. On billboards. In the air. Everywhere.

Naismith Avenue. Naismith Deli. Naismith Road. Naismith High School. Naismith Retirement Center. Naismith Creek. Naismith Savings and Loan.

You get the idea.

"What's the deal with Naismith?" I asked my buddy in my best Seinfeld impression.

Then I started to brainstorm.

"Maybe he cured some terrible Canadian disease? Maybe he was a kick-ass prime minister of Canada back in the day? Maybe he circumnavigated the globe in a hot-air balloon emblazoned with a maple leaf?"

"I'm not too sure," said my buddy as he took a big, long drag from his Marlboro Light and exhaled out the window. "But I think he invented basketball."

"Pfffft, you and your stupid Master's degree don't know anything" I said. "Why don't you just concentrate on the road and let me do the thinking."

We then, drove out of the Naismith town and pulled into the Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch.

I think it was the moment that I took my first bite of my KFC poutine, that I completely put the name Naismith out of my mind.

Until now.

As it turns out, my good buddy Craig was right on the money. James Naismith did, in fact, create the sport of basketball.

A white boy? From Canada? Created hoops?

I shit you not!

Click here for the full Wikipedia article on Naismith.

And here's a feature on Naismith from the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Now you've got a little piece of trivia to tell your friends.


cbrown said...

I'm embarrassed that we tried poutine for the first time at a... KFC. It's like going to China and eating at a Panda Express.

Makes me feel dirty.

Your Finest Eimer said...

Great analogy. You got a Master's degree or something?

cbrown said...

Yeah, but I don't use nerd words like 'circumnavigation' in a sentence, Poindexter....