July 21, 2024
Scott Flansburg at Herkimer OG's game
Scott Flansburg at the Herkimer OG's game, Feb. 3. Photo by Scott Kinville.

Herkimer Originals Honor Lambert Will

Some people believe that Lambert Will invented the game of basketball. Will allegedly devised the game in Herkimer, NY — contrary to the long standing belief that Dr. James Naismith first pioneered the game in Springfield, Massachusetts.

On February 3, Will was honored during the Herkimer Originals game at the Herkimer College.

The Herkimer Originals are a semi-professional team that plays in the American Basketball Association. Scott Flansburg is the CEO of the Herkimer 9 Foundation, the group that owns the Originals. Prior to Saturday night’s game, he explained the origin of the team’s name.

“Four years ago I read a book called ‘I Grew Up with Basketball’ by Frank J. Basloe and it said that basketball was invented in Herkimer, and I just couldn’t believe it,” Flansburg said. “I actually went to disprove it, and in my efforts I found there was more and more evidence that it was true and the Springfield story might not be for real. We published a book with the Foster brothers and Brian Carroll called ‘Nais-MYTH,’ which is the story of basketball’s stolen legacy.”

“Three years ago we started the OG’s (Originals),” Flansburg continued. He also stated the first ever game of basketball was played in Herkimer on February 7, 1891.

Some of Lambert Will’s descendants were on hand at Saturday night’s game, adding to an already special night. They joined Flansburg and other local dignitaries in a ceremony on the court at halftime.

The full game, including the interview with Scott Flansburg.

“This game is very special because all of this effort from the Herkimer Nine Foundation,” Flansburg said with obvious pride. “Lambert Will has been inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame, and he is on the ballot in Springfield and that will be announced in a couple of weeks.”

As for the game itself, the Originals won 147-84. For more information about the Herkimer Originals, visit https://herkimerogs.com.

Scott Kinville

Scott Kinville is a Communications and Media major who has returned to Herkimer College after getting his original degree nearly 30 years ago. He is currently a firefighter/EMT for the City of Little Falls Fire Department and is pursuing his current degree to prepare for a post-retirement career in journalism. Scott is also the owner/editor of http://cnyhockeyreport.com and the host of the Awesome 80's Lunch Hour which is held on Fridays from noon to 1 o'clock on WVHC.

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