For more than 100 years, James Naismith has gotten credit for inventing the game of basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts. But a new book is disputing the claim, saying that the game was developed here in Upstate New York instead.

Brion Carroll is a Herkimer Native and one of the authors of “Nais-MYTH: Basketball’s Stolen Legacy” and he says that the sport got it’s start at the YMCA in his hometown.

“Lambert Will was a 16 year old volunteer who was down in his cellar sorting cabbage for his mother in the latter part of 1890,”Brion says. “As he was tossing soft cabbage into one basket and hard cabbage into another he came up with the idea for a fun game.”

After taking his idea to Austin’s General Store and sharing it with some friends, they came up with the idea which eventually evolved into a medicine ball, a hanging basket at the YMCA and a game played by friends. But all seemed to be lost when the Basketball Hall of Fame was created.

During the decade of the 1950s, while efforts were underway to establish the Dr. James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, a bitter war-of-words pitting proponents of Dr. Naismith against those of Lambert Will raged. In the end, the Naismith side, having garnered the support of some within the national media, along with corporate sponsors, major sports organizations, and individuals within professional and collegiate basketball circles, won out. The Dr. James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame officially opened in Springfield in 1959, with no mention of Herkimer, N.Y., Lambert Will, nor the debate preceding the site’s construction.

In the years since the Herkimer claims and accusations have failed to go away. For many Herkimer and Lambert Will supporters, having basketball’s creation credited to Springfield and Dr. James Naismith is akin to a stolen legacy and a disservice to the historical record.

You can judge for yourself. “Nais-MYTH: Basketball’s Stolen Legacy,” By George and Darril Fosty with Brion Carroll is available for purchase on Amazon.