The History of Basketball
James Naismith,"Father of Basketball"
Basketball was invented years ago by an American named James Naismith. It began in December 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Naismith, who was a YMCA physical education teacher, had a real big problem. His students played football and soccer all during the Fall season. But now winter was coming, and it would be too cold to play outside. Naismith wanted all of them to stay in good health, but he didnt have any sports for them to play inside.
Finally, after much thinking, he came up with a great idea for an indoor game. He got two peach baskets and attached them to a balcony at the opposite ends of the gym. There were eighteen people in his class, so he divided them up into two groups with nine players on each team. Of course, they couldn't play the game without a ball, so he chose a ball that he had on hand: a soccer ball. When the first game began, the players started passing the ball around and one boy threw the ball in the basket. He scored and his team got the first three points.
But even though the game was fun to play, there were some problems that they had to solve. For example, whenever the players would throw the ball into the basket, they couldn't get it down without climbing up a ladder. So, they decided to cut holes in the bottom of the baskets for the ball to fall through. This helped them play faster. They used these peach baskets until 1906 when they were finally replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
But even then their problems weren't over. They realized that they had too many players playing at one time. In fact, one time in a game at Cornell University, there were 50 players on each team!
At first, basketball was only played in high schools and colleges. But by 1949, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was created with eight teams. Then, in 1967, the American Basketball Association (ABA) began. But there were a lot of money problems so it only lasted about nine years.
As time passed, Dr. Naismith became known as "The Father of Basketball" and more and more people heard of his game. Basketball began to spread all across the United States and finally became the popular game that we watch and play today.
So, there you have it. The history of basketball. If it sounds like it might be fun, just remember, all you have to do is lace up your shoes, grab a ball, and play ball!