How Basketball Was Invented

Basketball season is right around the corner, but have you ever wondered how this popular sport was created? Basketball was created by Dr. James Naismith in December 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He made this game to condition young athletes during the winter months. It consisted of peach baskets and a soccer ball. He divided his class of eighteen people into two teams of nine players and set out to teach them his new game.

The goal of the game was to throw the basketball into the baskets nailed to the lower railing of the gym balcony. Every time a point was scored, the game was paused so the janitor could bring out a ladder and retrieve the ball. After a while, a small hole was cut in the bottom of the basket so that they could poke the ball out of the basket with a stick and save time by not getting a ladder. Only in 1906 were metal hoops, nets and backboards introduced. Although, earlier the soccer ball was replaced by a Spalding ball, similar to the one used today. The first public basketball game was played in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 11, 1892.


First ever professional teams

The first professional league was founded in 1898. Six teams took part in the National Basketball League, and the first champions were the Trenton Nationals, followed by the New York Wanderers, the Bristol Pile Drivers and the Camden Electrics. The league was abandoned in 1904. Then, many small championships were organized, but most of them were not as important as some teams who played for money against others.



The Basketball league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association or more known as the NBA in 1949 after merging with the rival National Basketball League. As of the early 21st century, the NBA is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, sales, skill, and level of competition.


First international games

After it became popular in Europe, basketball grew very quickly. In 1909 the first international match was held in Saint Petersburg. The first great European event was held in 1919 in Joinville-le-Pont, near Paris, during the Inter-Allied Games. The United States, led by future Hall of Fame player Max Friedman, won against Italy and France after Italy had beaten France. Soon after that Basketball became popular among French and Italians.