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Read About the History of Basketball and Evolution of the Basketball Court Basketball History


Michael D. Ellis Former Division 1 Basketball Player

Our VersaCourt basketball court is great. It looks great and plays like no other outdoor court I've ever played on. It was very easy to install using the pre-assembled sections. I researched and talked with all the other major athletic court merchants and VersaCourt was clearly the best on price, quality and customer service. Most had long delays before you received the product. VersaCourt shipped the same day I placed the order.

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History of Basketball

In 1891, James Naismith, a Canadian educator and sports enthusiast from the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) training school in Springfield, Massachusetts, had an idea that would change the world of sports. The leaders of the YMCA desired an indoor activity that would showcase new talents and help keep people active during the winter months. It took Naismith and his assistants only 14 days to create a new game. The game of basketball was born.

The first goal consisted of a peach basket nailed to an elevated track. The 10' high basket was enclosed, not making it easy to retrieve the ball. Soon after that, the bottom of the basket was removed to allow for easy retrieval and a faster game. Originally, a soccer ball was used in the game and each team had nine players.

By 1897, the game of basketball was beginning to take-off. Basketball was becoming more organized and respected by people everywhere. The number of players was reduced to five and the game was spreading across the globe. Many colleges began adopting the new sport and a professional league was started in 1898.

By the turn of the century, metal hoops with backboards were implemented, giving players more control of the ball. Nearly two decades later, on June 25, 1929, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted G.L. Pierce a patent for the ball known as the "basketball."

The basketball was redesigned in 1950 by Tony Hinkle to its current orange color so players and spectators would be able to see the ball more clearly.

Throughout the past century, basketball has evolved to engage common techniques such as shooting, passing and dribbling. Players have also incorporated offensive and defensive structures to enhance game performance. Typically, the tallest members of a team will play center or one of two forward positions, while shorter players or those who possess the best ball handling skills play the guard positions.

The National Basketball League (NBL) was one of the original leagues prior to the National Basketball Association (NBA) and existed from 1937 to 1949. After the creation of the NBA in 1946 and the loss of multiple teams to the new association, the NBL merged with the NBA.

Since the creation of basketball, several changes have been made to the game including the size and style of basketball courts. In 1891, Naismith used the gymnasium at the YMCA as a basketball court. That gym was smaller than the average basketball court, not allowing for much player movement. Currently, professional basketball courts are 94' x 50', giving players plenty of room for active play. Basketball courts have had style changes as well. Additions to the original basketball court include a circle center, the key, perimeter and the three-point line. Most of these changes were implemented by the NBA.

Today, basketball has grown into a billion-dollar conglomerate, worldwide. In the United States, almost every college or university has a men’s or women’s basketball team. There are currently 30 teams in the NBA and 14 teams in the WNBA. With basketball gaining in popularity and revenue, some critics argue commercialization takes away from the original, true meaning of the sport James Naismith created over a hundred years ago.