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Basketball Inventor James Naismith: What was actually in his basket?

Pat Kenney
Staff WriterNaismith Apple Basket

Editor’s Note: This story ran as part of our April Fool’s Edition in April 2013. The original basketball hoop was, indeed, a peach basket.

Basketball is a long-standing tradition in the United States and especially here on the Springfield College campus. Its origins date back to 1891, when the first-ever game was played.

Our very own James Naismith is said to be the founder of this beloved game, though there was a lot of controversy on whether he really invented the game or ripped off a British professor named Dr. Charles Xavier. Over time, it was proven by years of research that Naismithis is the game’s inventor.

The first game was played here on the Springfield College campus. Naismith was instructed to create a game that would keep students active during the winter while they weren’t playing football or baseball.

That is where basketball comes in. Naismith hung two peach baskets on both ends of the gym and posted the rules on the wall. Thus, basketball was born.

Peach baskets have always been known for being the first-ever basketball basket, but information has emerged and in fact, this isn’t true at all. Recently, documents have surfaced that state the first basketball basket was actually an apple basket, and not a peach basket.

With some thorough research, myself and the rest of The Springfield Student staff have found evidence to support these newly found documents. Here is a list of why apple baskets were actually the first basketball baskets instead of peach baskets:

1) Naismith was severely allergic to peaches, so much so that even the smell of them would make him break out into hives. Hanging up peach baskets and using them as a basket for his game would not make any sense. Why would he use baskets that contain fruit that could potentially kill him?

2)  Peach baskets aren’t even the right shape to play basketball. Most peach baskets have a wider width and are generally shorter than the average basketball basket length. The measurements of a modern basketball basket is 18 inches from edge to edge. Baskets can fit two balls in it at a time. Peach baskets tend to measure two inches wider and 10 inches shorter. Apple baskets, however, are the perfect size and shape. Apple baskets are 18 inches long and 16 inches wide.

3) Naismith created the game in December of 1891. Peaches aren’t even in season at that time. Peaches are in season from July to August, so where in the world would Naismith get peach baskets if they weren’t being sold? Apples on the other hand are in season almost all year round and can be found everywhere. It seems more convenient to buy apples and their baskets than peaches.

4) Lastly, Naismith was in love with apples. His favorite fruit was apples and he ate them whenever he had a chance. He loved apple pie, applesauce, apple juice and of course, apple cider. His love for apples carried over into his personal life too. He and his wife were married in an apple orchard outside of Springfield, and instead of kissing at their wedding they bit into the same apple. How romantic!

The documents have made it very clear that Naismith used apple baskets over the infamous peach baskets. The facts state the truth. Ever since the discovery has been made, The Springfield College Museum at Judd Gymnasia had to take down the replicas of Naismith’s original peach baskets.

History that we thought was true has been significantly altered due to these documents, and Springfield College now needs to start talking more about those infamous apple baskets.

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