Springfield College to Dedicate James Naismith CourtNovember 28, 2007
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 28, 2007 – Springfield College will honor Dr. James Naismith, its renowned alumnus and former faculty member who invented the game of basketball at the college in 1891, when it dedicates and names its newly refurbished basketball court in his honor, in ceremonies on Friday, Nov. 30, at 7:45 p.m., in Blake Arena, in the Physical Education Complex.
Richard B. Flynn, Springfield College president, and Craig F. Poisson, the college’s senior associate director of athletics, will preside over the unveiling of the graphics, “James Naismith Court,” embedded in each end zone floor. The ceremony will take place during the Pioneer Valley Classic and precede the Springfield College men’s basketball game vs. Western New England College. That game will follow Amherst College vs. Westfield State men’s basketball game, which will begin at 5:30 p.m.
“In honoring James Naismith, we also honor important values that guided him as an innovator, educator, physician and minister,” Flynn said. “James Naismith believed strongly that a balanced development of one’s spirit, mind and body is the foundation of a fully realized life and the ability to contribute to the well-being of other people. We call that philosophy humanics, and it has guided all aspects of the Springfield College education for more than a century.”
The newly resurfaced James Naismith Court features markings for volleyball and basketball, including a new red three-point line, which will become the new three point circle in collegiate men’s basketball in the 2008-2009 season. The floor’s central graphic is Springfield College’s majestic lion and triangle, which are symbols of The Pride, the nickname for Springfield College’s 26 men’s and women’s varsity athletics teams, intramural teams, and sports clubs. The college’s wrestling and gymnastics teams also compete on the court.
The dedication of James Naismith Court will be the highlight of “Naismith Days at Springfield College.” Ian Naismith, grandson of James Naismith, will display his collection of historic basketball memorabilia, including the original rules of the game typed and annotated in blue pen by his famous grandfather, family photos of James Naismith, the Naismith Sportsmanship Trophy, and more. The collection will be on view in the Physical Education Complex Nov. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m.; Nov. 30 from noon to 3 p.m. and from 5 to 9:30 p.m.; and Dec. 1, from noon to 4:30 p.m.
For children attending the Springfield College men’s basketball game, players will autograph team pictures; the team mascot, Spirit, will pose with them for pictures; and students will conduct a coloring station featuring basketball images.
The documentary, “Basketball Man, the Amazing True Story of Dr. James Naismith and His Invention,” will play in locations around the campus during Naismith Days. On Thursday, students will begin a three-on-three basketball tournament, including continuous games from 9 p.m. to midnight. The championship game is scheduled for half-time during the Springfield College men’s basketball game Friday night.
The dedication of James Naismith Court is the latest in a series of renovations to Springfield College athletics facilities. In October, the college dedicated its football field in honor of Amos Alonzo Stagg, its first football coach and member of the national college football and national basketball halls of fame. The field is newly resurfaced with FieldTurf ®, and features a new ticket office, fencing, landscaping, and walkways. In June, the college dedicated the Irv Schmid Sports Complex, including two FieldTurf ® playing fields, scoreboards, lights, and a press box. Currently under construction are three new buildings—a new Field House, a new Wellness Center, and a new Athletic Training/Exercise Science Complex, slated to open in August 2008.
According to Flynn, “James Naismith Court, and our other newly refurbished athletics facilities, are some recent examples of Springfield College’s commitment to providing top-quality support and enhancements to our academic and athletic programs and campus life. They are integral to our mission of educating students in spirit, mind and body to become tomorrow’s leaders.”