Who Invented Basketball? When & Where Was It?

Who Invented Basketball? When Was It & Where?
via Wikimedia Commons

Who invented basketball? When was basketball invented? Where was basketball invented?

We have the answers.

The beautiful game of basketball is currently one of the most followed and celebrated sports in the whole world.

However, very few people care to know more about the history of basketball and its inventor. But the famous American proverb says, “The history of yesterday is our guide for today.”

In this article, we will be sharing some history of basketball—our dearly beloved game.

So, read on to find out who invented Basketball, where was it invented, and when was it invented?

It will be nice to sit tight, with a nice cup of coffee, or a beer, and enjoy as we take a ride into the past.

RELATED: James Naismith’s Original 13 Rules of Basketball

Who Invented Basketball? 

Basketball inventor, Dr. James Naismith
Dr. James Naismith with a basketball and a basket. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Dr. James Naismith invented the sport name basketball in 1891. The man must have been a genius for coming up with such an exciting and mind-blowing game.

Naismith was a college instructor at Springfield College when he invented basketball. 

Sometimes people get caught with the mindset that an inventor or scientist must be in their 60’s or very aged with experience before they can invent anything new.

They assume that they must have failed in many experiments and accumulate a massive ton of knowledge.

The reverse is the case of James Naismith. Naismith was a thirty-one-year-old when he invented the game of basketball. 

James graduated from the Presbyterian College in Montreal with a degree in theology. But his unflinching passion for sport made him enroll in Springfield college to further his studies on physical education.

Back in the ’80s, physical education is not as famous as it is now. Probably few people know about this discipline, and it was headed by the renowned Luther Halsey Gulick, superintendent of physical education at the College. 

Professor Naismith set the new sport’s course by asking one of the school staff to nail two peach baskets across from each other on the gymnastic balcony. It happened on December 1, 1891.

In reality, everything is birthed out of an idea, and so is the game of basketball.

The famous saying that idea rules the world is not just a mere cliché to motivate people. In reality, everything is birthed out of an idea, and so is the game of basketball.

The idea of this game came to Professor Naismith when little kids were playing the “duck on a rock” game.

The duck on a rock game is a famous country game in the USA among children, and it was tossing little stones to hit the top of another stone that is larger. This is where the mind-blowing idea of basketball came from.  

Professor Naismith may not have had in mind a large crowd coming from far and wide to watch his newly invented sport. But he was simply trying something unusual to the people of his days.

The difference he created has made a wonder and star of the likes of Michael Jordon, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant

When Was Basketball Invented? 

Basketball was invented in 1891, but the official birthday of basketball is January 15, 1892.

You may be wondering about what happened on that day? It must have been a special day for the inventor of the game.

It was the day where the rules of basketball were officially published in the Springfield College school newspaper. The game must have enlightened the students to consider this new sport.

At the same time, some believe there is no concrete evidence to back this fact up. But we all can testify of the power of useful publications. 

Where was Basketball Invented?

The game of basketball was invented at the Christian College in Springfield. This is where the professor came up with an unusual game called “Basketball.”

The First Basketball Court - Springfield College
The First Basketball Court – Springfield College. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The game’s goal was to develop children’s strength and skill and coordination of movements.

James Naismith divided the students into two teams, and he tied, to the balconies of the sports hall, fruit baskets without a bottom so that the ball fell through them. 

Instead of basketball, he used regular football. At that time, the game was a little like modern basketball. The players tossed the ball to each other, staying in place.

After a successful throw, someone from the team had to climb the stairs on the wall to get the ball out of the basket. 

Rumors of a great game began to spread quickly throughout the city and country.

After this, Naismith decided to develop the first 13 points of the rules in 1892. In the same year, the first rules for women’s basketball were developed by a gym teacher at a women’s college in Northampton.

And already in 1894, the official rules of the game were adopted in the United States.

Half of America began diving into Basketball Frenzy. The fast-paced game rapidly gained popularity around the world. The game conquers the East first, penetrating Japan, the Philippines, and other countries, then Europe and South America.

In 1924 and 1928, basketball was introduced in the Summer Olympic games program, although so far in a good sport.

In 1936, basketball was officially included in the program of the Summer Olympics in Berlin. The victory in the final match was well celebrated, and the news spread abroad.

Women’s basketball was later announced in the Olympic program in 1976.

The sport began growing like wildfire worldwide, and in 1919, the first men’s international tournament took place, and in 1923, the women’s international tournament.

What was just an idea in the head of a school instructor became a well-celebrated sport globally. Thousands and probably millions of people gather around to enjoy the excitement and thrilling of the game.

In the 1920s, National Associations began to be created in many countries.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed reading about the history of our beloved sport, basketball.

As much fun as it has been going on this ride into the past, and as much as we enjoy watching the NBA and other basketball games, it would be nice to remember Dr. James Naismith for his extraordinary contributions to basketball and sports in general.


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