From New York to London, to Paris, to Beijing. From Sarajevo to Dafar to Buenos Aires to Los Angels and everywhere in between the game of Basketball is played. It’s played in the city parks of New York and the dusty plains of Africa, and the expensive designed courts of the NBA. The game is played wherever someone can get a ball, and a mounted ring-like object. Unlike other sports that require multiple people and a lot of equipment, Basketball only requires a Ball and the willingness to play.
The First basketball type game may have been played by the early Olmec people of ancient Mexico as early as 500 years go. The Aztec, and Mayan cultures also had a game similar to basketball, only instead of a rubber ball they used the decapitated skulls of their conquered foes. The First true basketball game as we know it was on January 20th, 1892 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Canadian Doctor James Naismith invented the game for the YMCA to play during the winter months. Naismith wrote simple rules for the game, and nailed up two peach baskets for hoops, most of original Naismith rules are still in place today. Some of the rules have changed a bit, and new rules have been added since then, such as in the original game bouncing the ball was prohibited. Of the 13 rules, nine have been modified and kept in the modern game of basketball, the rest have been disregarded.
The First game consisted of 18 players, or nine to a team which was standard to the baseball teams of the day. Since Naismith or the YMCA didn’t have the money to design a new ball they used a soccer ball. The concept of the game must have been foreign to the players as the game was played for 30 minutes and the final score was 1-0. Halfway though the game however William R. Chase made the ball go into the peach basket, and thus became the first player to ever score in a basketball game. It was during this game that someone suggested a name for this new sport, Basketball.
Dr. James Naismith
The Game grew in popularity and within a few years, most of the YMCA centers in the Norther Eastern United States, and Southern Canada had facilities to accommodate players. However within a decade of its invention most YMCA centers began to ban the game because of the rough style of play associated with it. However other amateur groups picked up the slack, and new Basketball leagues began forming, including the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
The First Competitive Leagues.
The First competitive basketball leagues where all local leagues, usually within the larger east coast cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. On some occasions’ teams from other regions would travel to play another team. Once such occasion took place on November 7, 1896. this was the first known professional basketball game was played in Trenton New Jersey between the Trenton YMCA and the Brooklyn YMCA. The game was played at the Trenton Masonic temple, and an admission fee was charged for admittance into the game. Each player got $15 dollars except Fred Cooper who got $16 dollars, and became the first highest paid player. Trenton defeated Brooklyn 15-1 to win the first ever professional basketball game.
Two years after the first professional basketball game was played six teams for Philadelphia and New Jersey formed the National basketball league(NBL). Shortly after the NBL formed, other leagues began to form all over the Eastern United States including the Philadelphia Basketball League, Eastern League, New York State League, and the Interstate league. Most early basketball leagues never lasted more then a few weeks, the NBL itself only lasted five seasons. In 1902 the New England Basketball League got a huge boost in national exposure when it allowed an African American named Bucky Lew play in a game