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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hoop Genius

Author John Coy has written about things he loves and knows well in his career, and his latest book is an excellent history of something he likes best: basketball. In Hoop Genius, he tells the story of James Naismith's 1891 invention of the game of basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts. Because the young men in his gym class needed something to channel their energies, Naismith played around with different ideas before using a peach basket and a soccer ball to create an engaging game. The game's rules soon evolved as the players discovered ways to make things fair and competitive. The illustrations by Joe Morse convey the emotional tensions of those young men while establishing the historical context with their mustaches and clothing. The book's back matter provides more of the historical information, but do visit John's website to read about the research process behind this book:

At a recent publication party for this book, a young attendee asked about the stories behind other sports. Good question...though John believes none have as great a story as that of basketball.


  1. did he come east to the museum in springfield while doing his research?

  2. Interesting...One tends to think that basketball was just always in existance! The snow on the photo shows the beauty of the net. Do you have that much snow there?

    1. Our snow totals are nowhere near yours, Rita. Today things melted quite a bit.