On November 23rd, 2019, Dr. James Naismith was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. Although his mark on the Canadian landscape is truly the invention of the game of basketball, the message shared with all who attended the gala (which was held at an elegantly presented Metro Toronto Convention Centre) was that the sport was a different avenue to reach youth to help coach them in taking the right path in life. If you ask a lot of coaches today or players for that matter, they may echo the exact same sentiment.
Jim Naismith, James Naismith’s grandson, was invited to accept the honour on behalf of the Naismith family. While Jim was casually walking the red carpet onlookers were completely taken aback by the physical resemblance between Jim and his Grandad. It was almost as if James was there himself.
Dr. Naismith’s story was brilliantly portrayed via digital magic! A hologram was shone onto the stage while it interacted with one of Canada’s up and comers in the sport.
Naismith was then eloquently introduced by one of the great legends in the sport, Isiah Thomas. Naismith’s grandson Jim, travelled from Texas to accept the honour with, what we would imagine, the same humbleness that we may have well seen from James Naismith himself.
The night was electrifying for those of us that were lucky enough to be the honoured guests of the Naismith family, which included our friends at NBA Canada (Jon Chang and Lea McNab), Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame based in Springfield, MA (John Delova), the Mayor of Mississippi Mills (Almonte), the curator of the Naismith Museum in Mississippi Mills and the Dr. James Naismith Foundation.
The Foundation was extremely humbled to be included in celebrating James Naismith’s extremely well deserving honour.