The Naismith Legacy Award is presented to players, coaches and other individuals or organizations from the game of basketball honoring their roles in furthering the values of honor, respect and integrity both on and off the court – values that were very close to the heart of Dr. James Naismith.
“Granddad had several key people in his life that had a great influence on him becoming the man we all came to love. Turning points come in everyone’s life and he certainly had his,” said Jim Naismith. “But it is because of those people who showed interest in him and gave him solid direction that he was able to be creative enough to invent a game that has left this world a better place.
“We are delighted to carry the mission Dr. Naismith left for us, to leave this world a better place, and to honor the ACC for their long history of positive influence in the lives of young people and in the game of basketball by presenting the Naismith Legacy Award to the ACC and its member schools.”
ACC Commissioner John Swofford will accept the award on behalf of the conference, from members of the Naismith family during the New York Life ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Legends Brunch on March 7 and at the New York Life ACC Tournament Legends Luncheon on March 13. The Naismith Family feels strongly that the award should be presented during both tournaments in recognition of what the ACC, and basketball in the conference, have stood for throughout their history.
“It is an honor for the Atlantic Coast Conference to receive the Naismith Legacy Award on behalf of our coaches, players and the best college basketball fans in America,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The ACC’s strong basketball tradition is unparalleled and obviously would not be possible without the vision of Dr. James Naismith and the wonderful game that he created. We look forward to continuing to uphold the values of the game for many years to come.”
Unique among sports honors, most of which are granted annually after a competitive process, the Naismith Legacy Award is given on an ad-hoc basis, meaning not in regular or scheduled time frames. Recipients are nominated for their role in furthering the values of fun, respect, integrity, honor, service, excellence and teamwork that Dr. Naismith wrote into the “Original Rules” by a distinguished nominating committee, and then selected by the Naismith Legacy Board of Directors and Selection Committee that includes members of the Naismith Family, including Jim & Bev Naismith. Jim is the grandson of Dr. James Naismith.
The Naismith Legacy Award has recognized a number of individuals, including many with strong ACC ties, including coaches Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Kay Yow and Roy Williams. Former ACC Player of the Year Michael Jordan is another past honoree.
For more information on the Naismith Legacy Award and a complete list of past recipients please visit Naismith.com.