Well over a century ago, a sport was invented at an educational institute and it changed the face of American sporting culture forever. The sport in question of course is none other than basketball. From being incepted by a physical instructor to becoming the heartbeat of millions around the world, this wonderful sport has certainly come a long way. Basketball tickets are bought by millions of fans everywhere it is played and that trend isn't about to come to a halt anytime soon.
Basketball was an idea that was conceived by James Naismith, a physical education instructor who used to work at the Springfield College then known as YMCA International Training School. Physical education classes were a big thing during summers. Naismith was handed the task of making them popular for students during winters too. He used two baskets at opposite ends of a court and picked up a soccer ball to score points by putting it into those baskets. That is how basketball was created in the year 1891.
Surge in Popularity
Naismith also came up with the first ever rules of the sport. Basketball was now on its way. Other educational institutions began to take interest in the sport and it didn't take too long for its popularity to spread all across the country. It's following was at its highest it had ever been since its creation by the time 1930's came around. The National Invitation Tournament was invented in the year 1938. The NIT was the first big basketball competition in the country. The NCAA then joined the scene next year. The NCAA acts as an ideal platform for young aspiring basketball players to show they have what it takes to make it big. This is where they take their first steps to stardom.
The Arrival of the NBA
In 1937, the first ever professional league the National Basketball League was incepted which was followed by the formation of the Basketball Association of America in 1946. Both entities went head-to-head for around three years before merging to create the National Basketball Association also known as the NBA. What that move did was bring all the best players in the country together under one roof so to speak. The basketball landscape became stable and all the friction evaporated pretty quickly.
All that led to the sport becoming increasingly popular. That called for the NBA to undergo an expansion process that started in 1961 and came to an end in 1968. Teams like Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks have had some of the biggest names in the sport's history on their payroll. These stars have more than played their part in elevating NBA and the sport they love to staggering heights.
Basketball: A Global Sport
Basketball is very popular globally as well, a fact that is confirmed as it being a part of the Summer Olympics since 1936. The sport's global governing body, The International Basketball Federation, came to being in 1932. It has actively played its part in making the sport as popular as it is today. United States have won more Olympic gold medals than any other nation in the world. The first FIBA World Championship (for men) was held in Argentina in the year 1950. The inaugural FIBA World Championship for Women took place two decades later. Serbia formerly Yugoslavia lead the title count with five gold medals. They are closely followed by the United States in second place with four. As far as women championships go, the United States heads the list with eight gold medals while Soviet Union is in second spot with six.
Basketball has made its presence felt in a big way. It has evolved over the course of its history to now become one of the most popular sports in the world. It is a huge achievement considering the fact the sport was initially an attempt to entice students to engage in physical training during winters. The latest season has got fans all excited once for what promises to be another exciting and unpredictable journey from the start to finish.