Basketball - History of Basketball


The game of basketball was invented in 1891 by Doctor James Naismith, a physical education instructor at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was asked to come up with a game that could be played inside, especially in the winter. He realized that, if players had to shoot a ball upward, there would be less forward motion and less force if players made contact. For this reason, he hung the "goals" at a height 10 feet. The first ball used was a soccer ball, and the goals were two peach baskets, which is the source of the name "basket ball".

For about the first ten years the game was played, someone had to climb a ladder to retrieve the ball from the basket every time someone scored. When iron hoops and open-bottomed nets were introduced, the game sped up significantly. The first professional association was the National Basket Ball League, founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1898.

  • The development of basketball started as a challenge assigned to James Naismith. The physical-education specialist Luther Halsey Gulick gave Naismith 14 days to come up with a new indoor sport. The game was meant to be an "athletic distraction" to be played inside in the winter.

  • James Naismith was born near Ottawa, in Canada West (later Ontario), in 1861. He was a physical education instructor at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec for three years, before moving to Massachusetts in 1891.

  • The leading professional league, the National Basketball Association, began its first season in 1946. The NBA was formed when the Basketball Association of America merged with the National Basketball League.

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