Basketball inventor Naismith’s grandson rooting for Raptors

Dr. James Naismith, who invented basketball in 1891, is a native of Canada.

Dr. James Naismith is Canadian and his grandson is rooting for the team from Canada in the NBA Finals.

That would be no less than the Toronto Raptors, who hold a 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors. Game 5 is Monday night in Toronto.

Naismith, of course, invented the game in Springfield, Mass., in 1891. His grandson, Jim, is 82-years old and lives in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Raptors are Jim’s team, as relayed by Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun.

“I always remind Americans that in addition to this being a great American game it’s also a Canadian game and one with Scottish roots,” Naismith told Warmington.

Naismith is as thankful as anyone for his grandfather’s invention — which has as massive a following globally as any sport.

“It has been an interesting thing my whole life being the grandson of the man who invented basketball because I have seen just how much the game has meant to people,” Naismith said. “It was not long ago a man came up to me and said that game that your granddad invented saved my life.”