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Jim Naismith, 81, of Corpus Christi, Texas, stands with a statue of his grandfather, Dr. James Naismith, outside of the DeBruce Center near Allen Fieldhouse during a recent visit to Lawrence. Although his grandfather passed away when he was just 3 years old, Jim Naismith has spent much of his life learning as much as possible about the man who invented the game of basketball in the late 1800s.

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A hoops heritage: As KU men’s basketball tips off its 120th season, a Naismith recalls the man who started it all

One of six consecutive James Naismiths in the family’s lineage, including his own son, grandson and great-grandson, Jim Naismith has spent a large portion of his life seeking to learn more about his grandfather. As Kansas basketball tips off its 120th season at 8 p.m. tonight against Tennessee State at Allen Fieldhouse — KU’s first game was played Feb. 3, 1899, with Naismith himself coaching on the sideline — he'll be watching from his home in Texas.


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