Naismith james

The History of American Basketball

  • Creation of the Game

    Creation of the Game
    Dr. James Naismith, a physical education instructor and coach at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, develops the 13 inaugural rules for the game of “basket ball.” He divided his 18 students into 2 separate teams of 9 players each, which attempted to shoot a soccer ball into two elevated peach baskets located in the school’s gymnasium.
  • "Basket Ball" to "Basketball"

    "Basket Ball" to "Basketball"
    The first public game of “basket ball” is played in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1921, the officially spelling of the name “basket ball” becomes “basketball.”
  • Evolution of Backboards

    Evolution of Backboards
    In 1893, backboards, made up of chicken wire mess, emerged as a critical aspect of the game. Around 1904, wooden backboards were a mandatory addition for injury prevention, as well as a way to keep fans in the balcony from interfering with the ball. Rims, made of early forms of iron were nailed to the backboards, cloth nets were attached to the rims, and the birth of the modern era backboard was created. In 1909, early glass backboards were first approved for use in games.
  • 1st College Game

    1st College Game
    The first college basketball game is held between the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago in an exhibition game. The Phoenix beat the Hawkeyes by a score of 15-12.
  • National Basketball League

    National Basketball League
    The National Basketball League (NBL) is established consisting of 6 teams. The inaugural game was played between the Trenton Nationals and the Hancock Athletic Association in Philadelphia before an audience 900 fans.
  • The NCAA is BORN

    The NCAA is BORN
    Henry MacCracken organizes a meeting of 13 colleges and universities to initiate change in the way collegiate sports are operated. The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) is officially established. Four years later, the IAAUS is renamed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 1910. In August 1973, the current three-division setup (Division I, Division II, and Division III) is adopted. Today, the NCAA headquarters is located in Indianapolis.
  • FIBA

    With world basketball growing in high popularity, the first real international basketball organization is formed to help coordinate teams and tournaments. Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland are the first countries to make up the Fédération Internationale de Basket-Ball Amateur (FIBA), or the International Basketball Federation in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 1936 Summer Olympics

    1936 Summer Olympics
    The 1936 Summer Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany, marks the first appearance of the sport as an official medal event. The seven day tournament consisted of 23 nations, playing outside on makeshift tennis courts. The Gold Medal game was played outside, through the dirt and mud, in a pouring rain. The United States beats Canada 19-8 to win the gold medal, and Mexico beats Poland 26-12 to take the bronze. Medals were presented to the players by Dr. James Naismith himself.
  • 1st NCAA Tournament

    1st NCAA Tournament
    The first NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament is held on Northwestern University's campus in Evanston, Illinois. The tournament involved 8 schools, playing in single-elimination style games. The University of Oregon defeats Ohio State by a score of 46-33 to become the first National Champions in NCAA Division I Basketball history. Today, 68 schools play in the tournament held each spring, and has been coined the name “March Madness” for its popularity.
  • Television Debut

    Television Debut
    The first televised basketball games are played between the University of Pittsburgh vs. Fordham University, and New York University vs. Georgetown at Madison Square Garden.
  • Basketball Association of America

    Basketball Association of America
    The Basketball Association of America (BBA) is founded in New York City.
  • Breaking Glass

    Breaking Glass
    Chuck Connors, also a renowned actor and professional baseball player, of the Boston Celtics becomes the first player to shatter a glass backboard in a pregame warm-up. The game scheduled for that night was subsequently postponed.
  • National Basketball Association

    National Basketball Association
    The NBL and BBA merge leagues together forming and adopting the new the National Basketball Association (NBA).
  • Color Barrier

    Color Barrier
    Charles Cooper from Duquesne University, becomes the first black player drafted to an NBA team (Boston Celtics). In doing so, he breaks the color barrier for African Americans in the NBA.
  • 1st All-Star Game

    1st All-Star Game
    The East defeats the West 111-94 in the first ever NBA All-Star Game held at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Since 1951, the NBA All-Star Game has matched the best players from the Eastern Conference against the best players in the Western Conference.
  • :24 Shot Clock

    :24 Shot Clock
    The 24 second shot clock is first used during a scrimmage game.
  • 100 Marks History

    100 Marks History
    Wilton Norman Chamberlain sets the single-game scoring record for the NBA by scoring 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169–147 win over the New York Knicks at the Hershey Sports Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania in front of a crowd of 4,124 people.
  • American Basketball Association

    American Basketball Association
    The American Basketball Association (ABA) is founded as an alternative league to the NBA, consisting of 11 teams.
  • Basketball Hall of Fame

    Basketball Hall of Fame
    The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, is built honoring exceptional basketball players, coaches, referees, executives, and other major contributors to the game of basketball worldwide. The Basketball Hall of Fame was first established in 1959 at Springfield College. In 1968, it is moved to its final home in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, as a place dedicated to preserving and promoting basketball at all levels.
  • Women Can Play Too

    Women Can Play Too
    The United States Government passes Public Law No. 92-318 as part of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Also identified by the names Title IX and the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. The law states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program." In the end, the law allows women to participate in all levels – amateur and professional.
  • Slam Dunk Contest

    Slam Dunk Contest
    During half time of the ninth ABA All-Star Game in Denver, Colorado, the inaugural Slam Dunk Contest is won by Julius “Dr. J” Erving of the New York Nets. Erving won the award over David Thompson, Artis Gilmore, George Gervin, and Larry Kenon. It was not until 1984 that the NBA adopted the Slam Dunk Contest as part of its All Star Game. Today, the Slam Dunk Contest is an annual competition put on by the NBA as one part of the many events held during the NBA All-Star Weekend.
  • ABA and NBA Merger

    ABA and NBA Merger
    The ABA and the NBA merge leagues, leaving the NBA as the only professional basketball league in the United States.
  • 3 Point Field Goal

    3 Point Field Goal
    Celtics guard Chris Ford hits the NBA's first three pointer – (the three-point rule was first tested at the collegiate level in a 1945 game between the University of Columbia vs. Fordham University, but the rule was not adopted by the NBA until 1979).
  • Women Can Dunk?

    Women Can Dunk?
    Georgeann Wells, a 6'7" junior at West Virginia University, becomes the first woman to score a slam dunk during a women's collegiate game against the University of Charleston.
  • Women's National Basketball Association

    Women's National Basketball Association
    The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is established as the first women's professional basketball league in the United States. As of 2012, it is currently composed of twelve different teams.
  • Basketball Today

    Basketball Today
    Today, the sport of basketball is considered to be the second most popular sport worldwide, only behind that of futbol or soccer.