Monday, May 23, 2016

Sculptures of Springfield: Dr. James Naismith - Springfield, MA

Dr. James Naismith
Springfield, MA

N 42° 05.653 W 072° 35.128

Short Description: 

A statue of Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, his located on the north side of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on Columbus Avenue in Springfield, MA.

Long Description:

The game of basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, an instructor at the YMCA Training School, now Springfield College. He was attempting to create an indoor game that athletes could be play during the winter to remain in condition. He later moved to the University of Kansas where he wrote the first rule book for the game of basketball.

A 6' high by 6' diameter monument to Dr. James Naismith - The First Coach was dedicated in the Naismith Coaches Circle at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on September 11, 2015. The sculpture was created by the official sculptor of the Hall of Fame, Brian Hanlon.

The composition consists of a life size bronze figure of Dr. James Naismith. He is seated on a coaches bench wearing, trousers, a shirt with rolled up sleeves and a tie. He is holding a basketball with both hands between his legs. Dr. Naismith is surrounded by three life size children. A boy and a girl are seated on a bench behind and slightly above the bench Naismith is seated on. Both are wearing shorts, sleeveless t-shirts, and athletic footwear. The boy is holding his right knee with both hands. The girl has both her folded hands on her chin. A slightly older boy is sitting on the ground to Naismith's left. He wearing shorts and a t-shirt with sleeves and is looking up at Naismith with both hands around his bent up knees.

On the circular bronze plinth is the inscription: DR. JAMES NAISMITH - THE FIRST COACH. The statue is set on a two tiered 4' high, octagonal, granite base. Inscribed around the upper tier are motivational words such as TEAM WORK and DETERMINATION. The lower tier has quotes from famous coaches.

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