Thanks to the great dads of Dad 2.0 Summit and the champions of freshness Dove Men+Care, my wife and I had a chance to attend the NCAA Final Four game last weekend in Atlanta, GA , where the Louisville Cardinals beat Michigan Wolverines for the 2013 NCAA Championship title. We're winners too. It was our first time to win an all-expense-paid trip out of town and "bonus round" winners because we have an entire 5 days-4 nights stay at the fine Sheraton Atlanta Hotel without our kids to bother us, and boy did we have a blast. The pictures below are proof of our exciting, relaxing and “finally-just-the-two-of-us-have-fun-while-it-lasts” trip to Atlanta.
Speaking of basketball, do you know that basketball was invented more than 100 years ago by a Christian theologian as an evangelical outreach tool?
In a Wall Street Journal article, John Murray, recalled the story of the game’s founding. The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, became convinced that he stood a better chance of exemplifying the Christian life through sports rather than through preaching. So he took a job as a physical education instructor at the YMCA’s International Training School for Christian Workers in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith’s vision was “to win men for the Master through the gym.”
In 1891, Naismith set out to invent a new indoor game that students could play during winter. He spent weeks testing various games, including versions of soccer, football, and lacrosse, to no avail. “Finally,” Murray writes, “Naismith decided to draw from all of these sports: with a ball that could be easily handled, play that involved running and passing with no tackling, and a goal at each end of the floor.” In short, he came up with basketball.
From the beginning, Naismith and his athletic director, Luther Gulick, held the players to a high standard. As Gulick wrote in 1897, “The game must be kept clean.”
A Christian college cannot tolerate “not merely ungentlemanly treatment of guests, but slugging and that which violates the elementary principles of morals.”
He recommended that a coach should “excuse for the rest of the year any player who is not clean in his play.”
Basketball served as an important evangelical tool during the next 50 years, Murray noted. In 1941, Naismith wrote that “whenever I witness games in a church league, I feel that my vision, almost half a century ago, of the time when the Christian people would recognize the true value of athletics, has become a reality.” (Source: BreakPoint.org)