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College Sports History - February 9, 2018

The 1899 University of Kansas basketball team, with coach (and inventor of the game) James A. Naismith standing at right on back row.

Q: Last Saturday, the University of Kansas celebrated its 120th year of KU basketball and played a game at Allen Fieldhouse. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks lost to Oklahoma State. When the Jayhawks played their very first basketball game 120 years ago, they also lost. Who did KU lose to on February 3, 1899?  


A: the Kansas City YMCA

The very first basketball game played by the Kansas Jayhawks was on February 3, 1899. KU lost to the Kansas City YMCA in Kansas City, 16-5. For nine years, James A. Naismith, the man who invented basketball, was considered the basketball coach for the University of Kansas, although there was no official title for that position at KU. Naismith didn’t always accompany the team to its games. He also didn’t believe the game could really be “coached.” In addition to leading the KU basketball team, Naismith often officiated the game he invented. He’s the only KU coach to ever post a losing record (55-60).

Read more about KU basketball history.

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