George T. Hepbron

Enshrined 1960
Still Pond, MD
August 27, 1863 - April 30, 1946


One of basketball's first referees and rules pioneers, George Hepbron authored the game's first book, How to Play Basketball, in 1904. 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 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) and in 1915, became secretary of the newly formed National Basketball Rules Committee (NBRC).

Career Highlights

Conducted first national rules seminar
Eliminated unnecessary game roughness
Editor, AAU Basketball Guide, 1901-14
Secretary, Olympic Basketball Committee, 1903