Most of us have grown up with the story of basketball being invented by James Naismith when he was a Physical Education instructor at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. Now coming into question is the impact a Herkimer man, Lambert Will may have had on the development of the game.  For me, this all recently came to light when a minor league team, the Herkimer Originals setup a franchise in the Valley.

According to the team's website, the name Originals is a salute to Will.

Lambert Will was the inventor and drove the rules development; the first game (on Feb 7, 1891); the first rim and net (knitted by Lambert Will’s mother), and the first backboard in 1893; all from the Village of Herkimer and surrounding communities

While the majority of history books and websites still credit Naismith with originating the game, one site, Today I Found acknowledges Will was instrumental in developing the game while like Naismith he was Physical Education Instructor at the YMCA in Herkimer. According to their story, Naismith often consulted with Will for suggestions on refining the game.

Without the use of a time machine it would be hard to prove who had the original idea, although it would seem both men played a key role in the game's origin. What we do know, is the current Originals team is worth the price of admission. William Straite who shares all of the wildlife photos with us took in a recent game and captured these action photos from the Originals game with the Worcester Majors.

all I can say is Wow, just Wow... After witnessing the skills and tenacity of these players through the lens of a camera, I find it hard to believe that sports fans will not be totally impressed but treated to one memorable and hard fought game.
The Originals' team is comprised of mainly Central New York residents who played college ball at nearby schools. William says team owner and founder, Scott Flansburg is friends with rock legend, Alice Cooper who came up with the team's name and logo. They play home games at HCCC with one game planned for Notre Dame High School in Utica on November 27. General admission tickets are $9, youth 18 and under $5. Their next home game is November 20 against the Roc City Ravens at 7:05. Get tickets and more information at Herkimer

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