Cradle of Basketball Fast Facts

No other city in the world can boast an array of basketball history like Lawrence, Kansas.

  • Dr. James Naismith
    • Invented the game of basketball on December 21, 1891, to fill the need for an indoor winter sport.
    • In 1898, he brought the sport to the University of Kansas and became the school’s first basketball coach.
    • The court in Allen Fieldhouse is officially James Naismith Court.
    • “The Father of Basketball”
  • Forrest C. “Phog” Allen
    • Became KU’s second basketball coach when he replaced Naismith in 1908.
    • Allen served for 39 seasons at KU.
    • To date, Phog Allen is the fourth most successful coach in the history of college basketball and KU’s winningest coach of all time. 
    • He was instrumental in bringing basketball to the Olympic games.
    • Naismith reportedly coined Allen the “father of basketball coaching”.
    • It is in reference to this beloved coach that his statue stands in front of the Fieldhouse that bears his name, and Jayhawk fans warn opponents to “Beware of the Phog.”
  • Allen Fieldhouse
  • Booth Hall of Athletics
    • The Booth Family Hall of Athletics is a 19,335-square-foot museum adjacent to the east side of Allen Fieldhouse. 
    • The Hall honors KU's historic athletics programs, its coaches, and student-athletes, past and present.
  • DeBruce Center
    • A unique facility that explores the rich history of basketball
    • Home of Dr. Naismith’s original “Rules of Basket Ball”
    • Next door to Allen Fieldhouse
  • Find more Cradle of Basketball info at:
  • The Jayhawk Experience
    • Guided tours of University of Kansas Athletics facilities, including Allen Fieldhouse
Jayhawk Basketball Crowd
Booth Family Hall of Athletics
Original Rules of Basketball
2022 National Championship Parade in Downtown Lawrence
Celebrating Kansas Basketball at the Sandbar