If you are a huge sports fan, you must visit the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Get to walk in the same place where James Smith invented the now-worldwide discipline at the end of the 19th century!
This venue holds the largest collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the sport’s rich history and a hall of fame that pays homage to almost 400 individuals that improved and popularized basketball throughout time.
Here is a short visitor’s guide that will prepare you for a delightful visit to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame!
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is located at 1000 West Columbus Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts.
It is open for visits Wednesday through Sunday from the end of November until the end of March and every day of the week for the remainder of the year. The visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for weekends when the venue closes at 5 p.m.
At the time of writing (2019), the admission fee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was $24 for adults ages 16 to 64, $18 for seniors ages 65 and up, $16 for youths ages 5 to 15 and free for children under age 5.
The Hall of Fame occupies a 3-story spherical building that covers 35,000 feet of land and houses a large basketball court, artifact exhibits, theaters, souvenir shops, and restaurants. You can spend an entire day with your family visiting this history museum and experience the many entertainment options.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was established in 1959 at 20 years after its inventor, James Naismith had passed away.
Nevertheless, the innovative professor was the first to be inducted in the prestigious Hall of Fame. He is now in the company of popular coaches, players, referees and other contributors to the sport.
The Invention of Basketball
It was the winter of 1891 when James Naismith, a Canadian-American college professor at the Springfield YMCA came up with an indoor sport that would keep rugby, football and baseball athletes in shape throughout the cold season.
Naismith divided a team of soccer players, which had 10 players at that time into two teams and challenged each of them to try and throw a soccer ball in the opposing team’s basket at the other end of the gym field.
He even came up with 13 basic rules and asked that the game would be played only through passing, without dribbles or physical contact. Hi called it “Basket Ball” without anticipating that it would become a worldwide attraction and an Olympic discipline in less than 50 years.
Even if the first matches had ridiculous scores compared to present-day games, some barely finishing as 1-0 wins, the game quickly gained support from both the players and the crowds.
In time, the rules changed to include bottom-less baskets, backboards behind the hoops, dribbling, and modifications to the original soccer ball that now has become stand-alone sports equipment.