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    Springfield College will honor James Naismith with free public events April 7 – 17

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 5, 2010 –  Springfield College will honor Dr. James Naismith, who invented the game of basketball in 1891 while an instructor at the college, with special on-campus events April 7 through 17, 2010.  “Celebrating the Birthplace of Basketball® -- James Naismith and His Legacy,” which is part of the college’s 125th anniversary commemoration, is open to the public free of charge.

    April 7, 7 p.m.
    Lecture: “Luther Gulick and the Body-Mind-Spirit Ideal”
    By: Clifford Putney, author of “Muscular Christianity” and Bentley University senior lecturer in history
    Learn why the YMCA readily adopted the spirit-mind-body philosophy, which has been essential to Springfield College’s mission since 1885.  Also discussed will be the early life of Luther Gulick, who was superintendent of the physical department at the college, and the factors that led him to YMCA work.
    Marsh Memorial Chapel

    April 12 - 16
    Exhibit: “Remembering Naismith”
    James Naismith’s application to Springfield College, letters written by him, and photos of him during his association with Springfield College are a few of the materials from the Springfield College archives that will be on display pertaining to the inventor of the game of basketball.  See a video of remembrances of Naismith by his great granddaughter Rachael Naismith, who is also Springfield College chief research librarian.  Watch video highlights of Springfield College men’s basketball games from the 1960s and 1970s.
    Babson Library

    April 12, 6:30 p.m.

    Film screening: “Hoop Dreams”

    Introduction and question-and-answer session with “Hoop Dreams” director, producer and screenwriter Steve James


    An epic chronicle of hope and perseverance, “Hoop Dreams” is the powerful story of two ordinary inner-city kids who dare to dream the impossible – professional basketball glory.  Filmed over five years, it was recently selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, signifying its enduring importance to American film history.  “Hoop Dreams” earned the Directors Guild of America Award, a Peabody Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

    Fuller Arts Center, Appleton Auditorium


    April 13, noon

    Dedication of Statue of Dr. James Naismith

    College faculty, staff, students and guests will gather for the unveiling of a larger-than-life-sized bronze of James Naismith, seated and holding a basketball with a peach basket at his feet.  The sculpture by Elden Tefft will be a permanent installation.  

    Naismith Green

    April 14, noon
    Lecture: “Hoop Themes”
    By: Martin Dobrow, Springfield College associate professor of communications
    This award-winning sportswriter will read from his extensive writings on basketball. The author of “Going Bigtime:  The Spectacular Rise of UMass Basketball,” Dobrow has also been published in the “Boston Globe,” “Sports Illustrated,” the “International Herald Tribune,” and “Best American Sportswriting.”  He recently won first prize for his story on Springfield high school basketball player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, who broke the state scoring record while wearing a hijab and arm and leg coverings.  President Barack Obama referenced the story in a White House Ramadan ceremony.
    Cheney Dining Hall, Rooms A & B

    April 14, 7:30 p.m.
    Poetry Reading: From “Losing Season”
    By: Jack Ridl
    According to poet Conrad Hilberry, Ridl's sports poems are "unmatched anywhere in American poetry…They are so compelling, so varied, so familiar to anyone who knows high school and sports that they may well introduce a new genre.” Ridl, the award-winning author of poetry and chapbooks, will read from his newest collection (September 2009), which chronicles a year of hope and defeat on and off the basketball court in a small town. The son of beloved University of Pittsburgh Basketball Coach Buzz Ridl, the author has been named one of the 100 most influential sports educators in America by the Institute for International Sport. Garrison Keillor twice featured poems from “Losing Season” in “The Writer's Almanac.”
    Book signing and refreshments follow the reading.
    Marsh Memorial Chapel

    April 15, noon
    “Naismith Rules” Basketball Game
    Springfield College Faculty and Staff vs. Students
    In the first public basketball game, played in 1892, Springfield College students defeated the faculty 5-1.  See if they uphold their record playing to Naismith’s original 13 rules, including no dribbling, two 15-minute halves, and a 10-minute halftime.  At halftime, students representing residence halls will compete in a basketball knockout contest.
    James Naismith Court, Blake Arena  

    April 17, 10 a.m.
    Youth Basketball Clinic
    For boys and girls in grades 1 – 6, Springfield College basketball coaches, players, and alumni of past teams will teach the game and tactics for improving playing skills.  Advanced registration is required by April 14.  Contact Coach Charlie Brock, (413) 748-3292.
    Dana Gym

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