William Morgan's Mintonette: How The Inventor Of Basketball Inspired The Invention Of Volleyball

By Karen Harris
A group of ladies playing a game of volleyball, circa 1900. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

You've probably played volleyball at the beach, a backyard cookout, or gym class, but did you know that the inventor of volleyball and the inventor of basketball were friends? William Morgan, the inventor of volleyball, borrowed many of the game's underlying philosophies from basketball, which he learned from its inventor, James Naismith.

James Naismith And William Morgan

Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith at the Y.M.C.A. International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts as a solution for keeping athletes fit during the cold winter months. After leaving the Y.M.C.A. for Springfield College, Naismith mentored a student named William Morgan, who became the director of physical education at a Y.M.C.A. in Holyoke after graduation. During the winter months, he taught basketball as he had been taught by Naismith, but some of his less athletic, older, and less aggressive players didn't excel at the game.