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It Started With a Peach Basket



It Started With a Peach Basket
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.31

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    education, totally, electronic, professional, nickname, childhood, receive, rocks, rough, such, fans, holding, handle, march, court, aspire
     content words:    New England, James Naismith, Sandra Berenson, Smith College, Tony Hinkle, Butler University


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It Started With a Peach Basket
By Jane Runyon
  

1     What would you do for fun on a cold winter's day in New England? What if there were no televisions or electronic games? Then what would you do? This question bothered a man named James Naismith back in 1891. He was a doctor and a Presbyterian minister. He worked at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He worried that the students who came to his YMCA were not getting the exercise that they needed to keep fit. The winters were very cold and very snowy. No one wanted to spend much time outside getting exercise in weather like that.
 
2     He tried to think back to his own childhood in Canada. He remembered a game that he had played as a child. It was called "duck on a rock." In this game, players tried to knock a "duck" off the top of a large rock by throwing smaller rocks at it. Believe it or not, from this childhood memory came the invention of basketball.
 
3     Dr. Naismith took a peach basket. You may have seen something like it before. It was a basket used to carry peaches from the tree as they were picked. It had a bottom and rounded sides. He nailed that peach basket to the side of an elevated running track about ten feet off the ground. He told his students that he wanted them to throw a soccer ball into the air and into the basket. If a basket was made, the ball stayed inside the basket and had to be poked out with a broom handle.

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