George T. Hepbron

One of basketball’s first referees and rules pioneers, George Hepbron authored the game’s first book, How to Play Basketball, in 1904, and conducted the first national rules seminar. A close friend of James Naismith, Hepbron also served as editor and rules interpreter of the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Guides.Known for having a quick whistle when basketball’s earliest games became too rough, Hepbron always maintained control. He disqualified so many players in the first AAU games held in Brooklyn, New York that the tournament final had to be halted until suitable replacements were found. Active in many sports organizations, Hepbron was the first secretary of the AAU Basketball Committee (1896), secretary of the Olympic Basketball Committee in 1903 and in 1915 became secretary of the newly formed National Basketball Rules Committee. Served as Editor of AAU Basketball Guide from 1901-14. He was a staunch advocate in the early days of the game for rules and the interpretation of those rules.