Statue of basketball's Naismith unveiled in Almonte

A larger-than-life statue of the inventor of basketball is set to be unveiled in James Naismith's home town this weekend, after two years of fundraising.

A larger-than-life statue of the inventor of basketball is set to be unveiled in James Naismith's home town this weekend, a task which took two years for one man to see reach fruition.

A statue of basketball inventor James Naismith will be unveiled in his hometown of Almonte on Saturday. ((Associated Press))

The bronze statue, which is one-and-a-quarter sizes bigger than Naismith, will be unveiled in Almonte, Ont. on Saturday — the birthplace of the man responsible for inventing one of the world's most popular sports.

The commemoration comes more than 100 years after Naismith laid the foundations for the present-day game.

Having the statue erected in the Ottawa valley town was the work of Allen Rae, president of the Naismith Basketball Foundation.

"It's a long-held dream. I'm very biased in terms of the impact that basketball has on the world. It seems to be the one thing that can still bring people together," he told CBC.

Although the first game of basketball was played in December, 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is hugely popular in the United States, Allen still maintains that the game holds firm its Canadian beginnings.

"We try to educate as many people, especially young Canadians, that the game was invented by a Canadian, albeit in Springfield, Massachusetts," he said. "There are very few games that have been invented by a Canadian, especially one so popular as basketball."

The sculpture was crafted by U.S. sculptor Elden Tefft, at a cost of about $50,000.

A similar one was unveiled at Springfield College last year.