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Archive for Thursday, November 26, 1998

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November 26, 1998

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A grandson of basketball inventor James Naismith is in Lawrence promoting a good sportsmanship foundation created by descendants of the famed founder of hoops.

Ian Naismith, 60, of Chicago said he and his two siblings created the Naismith International Basketball Foundation to counteract what they saw as a coarsening of the game.

"The game granddad invented became a vehicle for kids to not go to college," Naismith said, "That's what the family gets upset about. The lockout we feel is wrong. Why can't they learn from baseball. It's just not sportsmanship."

The organization plans various programs for youth, and ESPN has begun airing Naismith Moments, TV replays of examples of good sportsmanship, Naismith said.

"We're focusing on the good instead of the bad," Naismith said. "Instead of the groin kick airing 30 times, the handshake."

A fund-raising banquet for the fledgling foundation will be held Dec. 10 at the Kansas Union. Naismith said various KU basketball luminaries have confirmed they will attend. Among them: Jo Jo White, Jerod Haase, Lynette Woodard and Roy Williams. Tickets are $100 per plate or $1,000 for a table of 10.

Roger Morningstar, president of Sport2Sport and one of several local businessmen involved with the foundation's Lawrence chapter, said Wednesday that about half the 40 tables had been reserved.

-- Mike Shields phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is mshields@ljworld.com.

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