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Born in a small town in Ontario, Canada in 1861, James A. Naismith lost his parents to typhoid when he was nine years old. He went to live on an uncle’s farm, where he helped with chores and spent his free time playing with a group of local boys. They enjoyed all kinds of sports, but their favorite game was “duck on the rock,” which involved trying to knock a stone off of a tall rock by throwing smaller stones up at it.
Naismith’s interest in sports continued during his studies at McGill University, where he played on the football, rugby and soccer teams and earned a B.A. in physical education. After next earning a master’s in religion at Presbyterian College, he combined his two areas of study by accepting a position as a P.E. teacher at the YMCA Training School in Massachusetts. In 1891, the department head asked Naismith to come up with a safe indoor game to keep students busy during the cold winter months between football and baseball seasons.
Thinking about popular games like football, soccer and baseball, Naismith decided to make his new game safe by using a soft soccer ball and requiring players to pass it instead of running with it to minimize physical contact. While considering how to reduce contact around the goal, he suddenly remembered the “duck on the rock” game he’d played as a child. This was his eureka moment: why not place the goals out of reach above the players’ heads? And so Naismith hung a peach basket at both ends of the gym and invited his students to play his new game, which he called “basket ball.” Later shortened to one word, basketball is now one of the most popular sports in the world.
1) typhoid (n.) 傷寒
2) chore (n.) 家事，例行工作
3) involve (v.) 需要，包含
4) combine (v.) 結合，聯合
5) position (n.) 職位，工作
6) minimize (v.) 減至最小
7) out of reach (phr.) 拿不到，無法取得