Ever since the beautiful game of basketball was invented by gym instructor James Naismith in the United States of America in 1891 (that is almost 130 years ago), basketball has evolved to become one of the most beloved sports in the entire world.
Today, basketball is so well-beloved, and its stars so adored that becoming a basketball star is now the dream and ambition of millions of kids all over the globe. But has basketball always been like that? Well, here is an enchanting history of basketball over time. It all started during the wet season of December 1891 when gym instructor Naismith was thinking of how best to keep his students active while remaining indoors during the bitterly-long winters of the northeastern United States.
In a fit of inspiration, Naismith penned down simple rules and put up a peach basket on an elevated track. And as simple as that, that was how basketball was born. Although a lot has evolved in the game over time, it is always amazing to check and meditate on the history of this great game. It will interest and amaze many to realize that back then, there were really no ‘basketballs’ because what was used then were soccer balls. And as if that was not enough, these soccer balls had laces on them. These balls were also dark brown in colour, something radically different from what we have today which is bright and sparkling orange.
With time, the laces were removed because they were actually interfering with the dribbles and bounce passes, so they had to go. Another thing that will shock many is that dribbling was actually not a fundamental part of basketball in the beginning, it was added later on when the design of the balls also evolved. It will not be until the 1950s though that dribbling became really welcome and accepted. It is important to state that this was not a coincidence really but was also facilitated by the changes made to the design of the balls.
Another amazing aspect in the history of basketball was how the name ‘basketball’ itself was adopted. When Naismith himself was asked what he wanted to call the new game, he answered saying he had not really given it a thought. One of the first set of players suggested calling it ‘Naismith ball’ after the inventor himself.
However, he found calling it ‘Naismith ball’ quite funny and suggested it should be called ‘basketball’ since they were making use of a ball and a basket. That was precisely how the name ‘basketball’ came about, and it stuck ever since. With time, basketball spread like a wildfire on American colleges, professional basketball became well-consolidated. The rest as they say, is history.