The Fascinating History of America’s Favourite Sport: Basketball

It is a bit ironic that America’s favourite sport was originally invented by a Canadian man. Back in 1891 in the lovely town of Springfield, Massachusetts lived a physical education teacher – or as we now call them gym teacher- who’s quest to find a new activity for young men that would be less injury-prone than American football.

He was also looking for an alternative sport that could be played inside during winter, without the need for a huge field to play on. As an assignment, he was given 14 days to create this new sport that would provide a distraction for his students and help tracks athlete stay in shape during the winter’s months. Another specific requirement for that sport was that he needed to be fair to all players and not too rough.

He wrote the original 13 rules of what it was called back then “basket ball”. He then used his class of 18 boys to start playing. They originally used a soccer ball to play and fruit basket in lieu of basketball hoops. The games apparently had to be stopped every time someone scored a goal as the fruit baskets needed to be emptied by the local janitor. It took a bit of time before someone made the intelligent choice of removing the fruit basket’s bottoms to save time.


As the inventor’s name was James Naismith, some players suggested the game be called the Naismith Game. It was quickly agreed this was a terrible idea. Naismith then suggested the obvious: “We have a ball and a basket: why don’t we call it basketball?” And just like that the sport of basketball was born.

It has now grown into a multi-billion dollars business with millions of people watching game over the world and millions of professional and recreational players. Being of the most popular past time in the world, you can easily find basketball court near your house, play basketball video games or play basketball inspired slot game on your phone at online casinos. As a society, we have way more options than what Naismith had in mind when inventing the game.

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