The Strange But True History of Basketball

By: Carlos Lintons


Dr. James Naismith. Probably the name means nothing to you. Perhaps it would have meant even less had this Canadian not found himself a home in the Unites States. For it was this man, way back in 1881, that invented the game of basketball. Indeed, many people wonder if the sport would be so popular in the US had he not been living in Massachusetts at the time he invented it.

Before he went to work at the YMCA Training School in Massachusetts, Naismith was the athletics director at the University of McGill in Montreal. It all started because he was trying to find a game for students to play inside during the cold winters. A soccer ball and two peach baskets were used to play the first game. At first a broomstick was used to push the ball out of the basket. Later they cut holes in the bottoms of the baskets, which is how the hoop and net we're used to eventually developed.

The game was introduced widely through the YMCA, not only the United States but throughout the world. Millions of people world wide play basketball as a hobby or even professionally. However, no nation has seen as much popularity for basketball as North America.

The game of Basketball continued to gain popularity and it was showcased in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. And today the National Basketball League is one of the most popular sports events. Prior to the formation of NBA the controlling body for the game of basketball in America was the Basketball Association of America. Today the NBA players boast some of the highest salaries in the professional sports.

The first basket ball players to have been paid can be traced back to 7th November, 1896 for the game played between the Trenton Basketball Team and the Brooklyn YMCA. Eventually Basketball broke away from the YMCA and moved into the National Basketball League.

Today great basket ball players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O'Neal and many more have made headlines not only in basketball, but in movies, tabloids, and even music. They even are role models for many kids as the game of basket ball is really very popular.

The NBA Finals are one of the most popular televised sports events in the United States. Everyone loves to cheer on their favorite teams and players. Michael Jordan, or Air Jordan as he was known, brought about much of the popularity in NBA merchandise. Everyone wanted Air Jordan jerseys, shirts, hats, shorts, and of course the ever popular shoes.

Today basket ball is one of the most popular games in the US and the NBA is a multi-million dollar association that earns revenue from ticket sales, televised games, and of course the equally popular merchandise. It is perhaps the favorite pass time and extra curricular activity with many children. Dr James Naismith must never have thought that his simple game with a ball and two peach baskets would become such a mega success.

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Carlos Lintons is the chief writer for, and editor of FSU Basketball, there's a wealth of knowledge on the website, plus their free newsletter is well worth signing up for too. For more quality articles on Basketball why not visit: www.fsubasketball.com/articles
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