Origin of Basketball / Open Lines

Hosted byIan Punnett

Origin of Basketball / Open Lines

About the show

Since about 1990, Scott Flansburg, aka the Human Calculator, has been a presenter at organizations such as NASA, IBM, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Mental Calculation World Cup to change the attitudes about math. He joined Ian Punnett (Twitter) on Friday's program to discuss the true origin of the game of basketball. According to Flansburg, the accepted history of basketball, which credits James Naismith with creating the game in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1892, is completely wrong. Basketball was invented in Herkimer, New York, a year before Naismith made his claim, he explained, noting the rules of the game were created by a teenager at the YMCA there.

The authors of NAIS-MYTH - Basketball's Stolen Legacy, a publication about the true origin of basketball, were actually threatened by Naismith's grandson to stop writing their account, Flansburg disclosed. The authors contend a 16-year-old named Lambert Will, who worked at the Herkimer YMCA, invented the game. It began when Will was sorting cabbage at home and threw one of the heads into a bushel. He then set the bushel on a step ladder at a produce stand, and he and others tossed cabbage heads into his newly elevated basket, Flansburg reported. The next day he put a basket on the wall of the Herkimer YMCA and over the course of several weeks, worked out the rules of the new game, he added. Naismith received the 13 rules of basketball after Will submitted them to the Springfield YMCA for consideration for an inside winter activity, Flansburg revealed.

There is ample evidence to support the theory that basketball was invented by Lambert Will at the Herkimer YMCA, including a photo of the first basketball team in which Will is pictured sitting in the middle of a group of young men holding a ball with the years 91-92 written across it. Basketball's original 13 rules that history credits to James Naismith had a date of 1892 on it — until recently. The date has since been changed to 1891 on the document, Flansburg said, pointing out "it has not been accounted for or explained on why that date was changed."


The latter half of the show featured Open Lines. Carl from Boston suggested the evidence for time travel is irrefutable. According to Carl, not only do scientists believe time travel is possible, but recently a supposed "time traveler" from the year 3311 claimed to have brought back photos from the future. In addition, Carl shared a personal experience that happened when he was 4-years-old and someone told him something about his future self that turned out to be true. "Where did she come from, how did she know me, and how did she know my place in the world," he questioned. Carl also chatted about the Mandela Effect, as well as purported changes to texts in the Bible.

Blair in Phoenix talked about the legacy of the National Lampoon magazine. Founded by Harvard alumni Doug Kenney, Henry Beard, and Robert Hoffman in 1969, the publication was where numerous noteworthy comedic writers and actors got their start, Blair explained. Some of the first writers on Saturday Night Live, as well as players at The Second City, including John Belushi and Chevy Chase, came from National Lampoon. At one point in the 1970s, the National Lampoon Radio Hour was so popular it was broadcast across 600 stations, Blair noted. Another caller, Ernest from Washington, told Ian he was out fishing when his dog's hackles raised and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. Next, according to Ernest, they heard a bloodcurdling Sasquatch scream. "We were gone... my rig was about a quarter of a mile away," he said.

Bumper Music

Last Night

Conflict Zones / Spirit Guides & Dreams
Conflict Zones / Spirit Guides & Dreams
Author and documentary filmmaker Robert Young Pelton shared his analysis of current conflicts and war zones. Followed by author and podcast host Samantha Fey on spirit guides, angels, and dreams.


CoastZone banner
Sign up for our free CoastZone e-newsletter to receive exclusive daily articles.