COLLEGE BASKETBALL    NBA DRAFT  NCAA TOURNAMENT  RECRUITING MESSAGE BOARD  |  PREVIEW  |  COLLEGE FOOTBALL

college basketball

 

 TEAMS  |  ARTICLES   TV SCHEDULE CHN TOP 50 TOP 100 PLAYERS POLLS | LOGOS MOCK DRAFT | BRACKET | SEARCH

 

 TEAM FAN SHOPS

 
 
basketball history
 
 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

 ▪ NCAA Tournament

 ▪ Champions Week

 ▪ Ranking & Predictions

 ▪ College Preview

 ▪ Message Board

 ▪ Awards / Features

NBA & RECRUITING

 ▪ NBA Draft

 ▪ Mock Draft

 ▪ Recruiting

SHOPPING

 ▪ Basketball Store

 ▪ NCAA & NBA Jerseys

 ▪ Tickets 

 ▪ Videos

CHN INFORMATION

 ▪ About CHN

 ▪ Write for CHN

 ▪ Advertising

 ▪ Site Map

 ▪ Links

SPECIAL FEATURES

 ▪ The Review

 ▪ Coaching

 ▪ Fantasy

 ▪ Basketball History

 ▪ Division Two & Three

 ▪ Monday Mailbag

PREPSUSA.COM

 ▪ Recruiting Directory

 ▪ ABCD Newsletter

 

 

Basketball History

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Early basketball

Basketball is unusual in that it was invented by one man, rather than evolving from a different sport. In 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian minister on the faculty of a college for YMCA professionals in Springfield, Massachusetts, sought a vigorous indoor game to keep young men occupied during the long New England winters. Legend has it that, after rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules, and nailed a peach basket onto the gym wall. The first official game was played in the YMCA gymnasium on January 20, 1892. "Basket ball", the name suggested by one of his students, was popular from the beginning, and with its early adherents being dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States, the game was soon played all over the country.

Interestingly, while the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a decade, it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the YMCA's primary mission. Other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs quickly filled the void. In the years before World War I, the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association (forerunner of the NCAA) vied for control over the rules of the game.

Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball. The first balls made specially for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball that is now in common use.

College basketball and early leagues

Naismith himself was instrumental in establishing the college game, coaching at University of Kansas for six years before handing the reins to renowned coach Phog Allen. Naismith disciple Amos Alonzo Stagg brought basketball to the University of Chicago, while Adolph Rupp, a student of Naismith at Kansas, enjoyed great success as coach at the University of Kentucky. College leagues date back to the 1920s, and the first national championship tournament, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in New York, followed in 1938. College basketball was rocked by gambling scandals from 1948-1951, when dozens of players from top teams were implicated in game fixing and point-shaving. Partialy spurred by the association of the NIT with many of the cheaters, the NCAA basketball tournament surpassed the NIT in importance. Today, the NCAA tournament it is rivaled only by the baseball World Series and the Super Bowl of American football in the American sports psyche.

In the 1920s, there were hundreds of professional basketball teams in towns and cities all over the United States. There was little organization to the professional game, as players jumped from team to team, and teams played in armories and smoky dance halls. Leagues came and went, and barnstorming squads such as the New York Rens and the Original Celtics played up to two hundred games a year on their national tours.

National Basketball Association

In 1946, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed, organizing the top professional teams and leading to greater popularity of the professional game. An upstart organization, the American Basketball Association, emerged in 1967 and briefly threatened the NBA's dominance until the rival leagues merged in 1976.

The NBA has featured many famous players, including George Mikan, the first dominating "big man"; ball-handling wizard Bob Cousy and defensive genius Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics; Wilt Chamberlain (who originally played for the barnstorming "Harlem Globetrotters"); all-around stars Oscar Robertson and Jerry West; more recent big men Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, playmaker John Stockton; and the three players who many credit with ushering the professional game to its highest level of popularity: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan.

The NBA-backed Women's National Basketball Association began play in 1997. As in the NBA, several marquee players ( Lisa Leslie, and Sue Bird among others) have helped the league improve its popularity and level of competition. Other professional women's basketball leagues in the United States have folded because of the strong backing of the WNBA.

International basketball

The International Basketball Federation was formed in 1932 by eight founding nations: Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland. At this time, the organization only oversaw amateur players. Its acronym, in French, was thus FIBA; the "A" standing for amateur.

Basketball was first included in the Olympic Games in 1936, although a demonstration tournament was held back in 1904. This competition has usually been dominated by the United States, whose team has won all but three titles, the first loss in a controversial final game in Munich in 1972 against the Soviet Union.

In 1950 the first World Championships for men were held in Argentina. Three years later, the first World Championships for women were held in Chile.

FIBA dropped the distinction between amateur and professional players in 1989, and in 1992, professional players played for the first time in the Olympic Games. The United States' dominance briefly resurfaced with the introduction of their Dream Team. However, with developing programs elsewhere, other national teams have now caught up with the United States. A team made entirely of NBA players finished sixth in the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis, behind Serbia and Montenegro, Argentina, Germany, New Zealand and Spain. In the 2004 Olympics, the United States' Dream Team lost their first game in history to the Puerto Rican National Basketball Team and eventually came in third after Argentina and Italy.

Women's basketball was added to the Olympics in 1976, with teams such as Brazil and Australia rivaling the American squads.

World-wide, basketball tournaments are held for all age levels, from five- to six-year-olds (called biddy-biddy), to high school, college, and the professional leagues. Tournaments are held at each level for both boys and girls.

The global popularity of the sport is reflected in the nationalities represented in the NBA. Here are just a few of the outstanding international players who have played or still play in the NBA: Argentina's Manu Ginobili; Serbia and Montenegro's Vlade Divac, and Peja Stojaković; Croatia's Toni Kukoč and Dražen Petrović; Russia's Andrei Kirilenko; Lithuania's Arvydas Sabonis and Sarunas Marciulionis; Germany's Dirk Nowitzki; Puerto Rico's Carlos Arroyo; China's Yao Ming; Canada's Steve Nash; Australia's Luc Longley and Spain's Pau Gasol. Many outstanding international players, including Serbia and Montenegro's Dejan Bodiroga, past Olympian Oscar Schmidt of Brazil, and recent Lithuanian Olympian Sarunas Jasikevicius, have chosen to decline NBA opportunities.

External links

Wikimedia FoundationAll text is copied from Wikipedia, available under the GNU Free Documentation License
Last Updated May 2005
| Source Article on Wikipedia| Disclaimers | Basketball History on CHN

 


Collegehoopsnet.com: Homepage | About | Media Kit | Write for CHN | Site Map | Fan Shop