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The History of Basketball

Apr 21, 2013

Basketball has come a long way. The game has evolved from an awkward dorky game with no dribbling into one of the coolest and slickest sports where players make the ball look like it's a yo-yo. Here is the history of basketball:

Peachy Basket Ballin'

Canadian James Naismuth was a YMCA gym teacher in Springfield Massachusetts and when the weather kept raining, he wanted to create an indoor activity for his students. He nailed some wooden peach baskets up on the wall and the players played with a soccer ball. At first, whenever a basket was scored, the ball was retrieved with a ladder. Then a smart guy said to cut out the bottom so the ball could be poked out with a broom stick.

Inventor of BasketballJames NaismuthCourtesy of

Orange Bumps out Brown

Basketball was played with a brown ball for almost fifty years before someone decided to make it brighter and easier to see. Chicago coach Tony Hinkle introduced the orange ball in the 1950s and the material changed into a bouncier ball. So dribbling the ball became easy and the game became more fun to play and watch. Players would eventually develop dribbling skills that make basketball the only sport in the World magical... cue the Harlem Globetrotters!


Professional Basketball

There were actually a few different pro basketball leagues. The first pro basketball game happened in 1946 with a game between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers in the first league called the Basketball Association of America (the BAA). In 1949, the BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). There was even the American Basketball Association (ABA) that finally merged with the NBA to bring all pro basketball leagues together in 1976.

Women Welcome!!!

WNBAWNBACourtesy of

The WNBA is the biggest women's professional team sport league in the World. It started up in 1996 and it is still going pretty strong. There are 12 teams in the league and Championship games bring in over 15000 fans!!!

Fun Facts

  • The Boston Celtics have won the most NBA championships (17), including seven straight from 1960 to 1966.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played 20 seasons in the NBA, holds the record for most points scored in a career with 38,387.
  • On March 2, 1962, Philadelphia center Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in one game against New York. That is the most one player has ever scored in one game.
  • Current Atlanta Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens has won more basketball games than any other coach.
  • The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a 10-team rival league to the NBA that began play in the 1967-68 season and folded nine years later after the 1975-76 season. Four current NBA teams – Indiana, Denver, New York, and San Antonio – originated in the ABA.
  • The NBA instituted the three-pointer before the 1979-80 season, an idea it borrowed from the ABA.
  • The Chicago Bulls have won all six NBA Finals in which they've appeared.

Have your say...

Do you play basketball? What do you think of this sport? Let us know in the comments below...