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Charles O. Bemies

Athletic Director ∙ Geneva

 

 

 

 

Every sport has its pioneers: those who blaze trails on which others may follow and expand. One of the true basketball pioneers was Charles Bemies. As the first athletic director at Geneva College, Charles was instrumental in his tenure from 1889 to 1894 in starting the college’s first baseball, football, and basketball teams. The most significant aspect of the first basketball team at Geneva in 1892 was that it was not only Geneva’s first basketball team but also the very first collegiate team in the nation. Charles' interest in and connection with basketball is understandable, considering that he received his college education at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he befriended Dr James A Naismith, the inventor of the game. It was Charles’ hope to start the sport when he came to Geneva, and the college was recognized for the fact in 1992 when their basketball team was a guest at a Cleveland Cavaliers’ game. Besides forming the baseball, football, and basketball teams at Geneva, Charles also coached the fencing, boxing, and wrestling squads.