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Basketball History

Basketball History

How Did Basketball Begin?

Basketball has been around for well over 100 years and has progressed a lot since it was first invented. Read the story below to find out where it came from and how it began.

Basketball was first created in the 1890's by James Naismith. He divided a class of children into two teams - each team had 9 players. He then taught them the rules, with the main objective being to throw a football into a basket attached to the gymnasium's balcony.

In this early game, the baskets were exactly like the wicker waste paper baskets you may use for rubbish in your house. They were actually peach baskets, used by fruit pickers when collecting peaches. They did not have holes in the bottom like the nets in the modern game of basketball.

After each point was scored in that early game, the game had to pause as the ball was retreived!

In December of 1891, James Naismith arranged the first basketball match between pupils in his class.

In 1906 metal hoops, a Spalding ball, backboard and nets similar to the ones used in the modern game were introduced.

American colleges first saw great involvement in the game, and the first organised game was played in Pennsylvania, 1893. The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) still thrives today and was created in those early days to organise the sports activities of these colleges who were playing each other in many competitions and leagues.

Basketball: The Official Sport

The most famous association - the NBA - was founded much later in 1946. It began its life as the BAA (Basketball Association of America), but soon became the NBA after merging with its rival the National Basketball League. This is probably the best known association in the states, if not the world as it is home for the most famous basketball players and teams that the world has seen.

Basketball is now a staple Olympic sport - one that was included after the work of the FIBA (International Basketball Federation). This was first included in the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936.

Since then, basketball has grown as a sport and is popular all over the world.

Basketball: Playing at Home

Basketball is becoming more and more popular here in the UK, with new leagues and clubs popping up around the country it is no wonder that more and more children are getting involved with this sport.

The game is one of the most popular and well played sports in America - but increasingly we can see the influence it is having here in Britain. It was extremely popular at the London Olympics and becoming increasingly so across the country. Children can never be too young to get involved. There are many Basketball clubs up and down the country - and if club basketball is too serious for you or your children, playing at home can have amazing benefits and rewards.

These are:
  • Amazing Fitness Staying fit can be difficult when gym memberships cost so much. Running around a court or on your front driveway can be great for fitness. Also great for children's fitness as a team sport it offers a good challenge.
  • Improves Hand Eye Coordination Simply practising to aim and shoot a ball at the basket will improve anyone's hand-eye coordination. If you make it into a team game, then passing to other players will also help with this skill.
  • Inexpensive Buying a net/hoop and ball does not have to be expensive. The portable stands can be put anywhere, and as long as you have a bit of concrete or tarmac, bouncing the ball and throwing it into the net will entertain children for hours.
  • You do not need a lot of space! As mentioned, all you need is a hoop, backboard and ball. They can be put up on your wall, or by using a portable stand on wheels, anywhere on your driveway or patio. Although the full game requires a whole court with two nets, you can have just as good a game with two teams playing into the same basket so you do not need a lot of room to play.
  • Can be played with One Player or More To use your basketball equipment, your children do not need to have all their friends round in order to enjoy the game. Most children will enjoy hours of shooting and dribbling practise whether they have a whole gang with them or not. You then know you are getting the most possible use out of your basketball equipment.

History Lesson Complete

Now you know all about how the sport began - why not go and play?!
Basketball is a great game for physical exercise. You may already be a fan of the sport or have watched the games at the Olympics or in International or National leagues.

Even if you have never been into the game before, or your children haven't it is really popular in schools and clubs in the UK.

Not only is it great exercise and great fun, it helps improve hand eye coordination, balance and team work.

Another great thing about Basketball is you can have fun just shooting hoops and don't need to have a proper game in order to reap the rewards from playing. It can be played with just one person, all the way up to full teams of people. If you have limited space, you do not need an entire court to have a net up for your children to practise dribbling and shooting.