Basil James (May 18, 1920 – April 10, 1998) was an American jockey.
Born in Loveland, Colorado, Basil James became a jockey in California while in his teens and in 1936 at age sixteen he led all U.S. jockeys with 245 wins. After a successful 1937, in January 1938 he was suspended for ninety days after "grabbing Herb Litzenberger during the running of the seventh race" at Santa Anita Park. Once he served his suspension, James continued winning and in 1939 was the United States Champion Jockey by earnings.
Basil James' most famous horse was the Hall of Fame colt Alsab who was voted U. S. 2-Year-Old and 3-Year Old Champion male horse. Aboard Alsab he won the 1942 Preakness Stakes but his career was interrupted later that year as a result of his World War II service with the United States Army. When he returned to racing in 1946, Basil James continued to win major stakes races on the New York State circuit. He retired from riding in 1956 but came back again in 1959 then in 1963 joined the staff at Longacres Racetrack near Seattle, Washington where he worked for the next thirty years.
Suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Basil James was living in a nursing home in Des Moines, Washington when he died in 1998.