6 Fun Facts about the Great Game of BasketballMicah Bochart
Basement Sports is excited to expand beyond the baseball diamond. We will soon offer mixed reality game play options for several of America’s most beloved sports, including the great game of basketball. In light of this, we’ve curated six fun facts about hoop, net, and court, for connoisseurs and casual fans alike. Without further adieu:
- Necessity is the mother of invention. James Naismith was a physical education teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1891, his boss at the YMCA asked him to invent an indoor activity to keep athletes occupied during the winter months. From this request, the original rule book for basketball was born. In addition to inventing the sport, Naismith also founded the basketball program at the University of Kansas.
- Humble origins. When the first basketball game was played in 1892, the court was only half the size of the basketball courts we know today. The inaugural game lasted a mere 30 minutes, resulting in a single point scored.
- The mighty Bogues. The shortest NBA player in history was Muggsy Bogues, who stood 5’3″. Bogues played for the NBA for 14 years. During that time, he played three straight seasons averaging double-digit scoring numbers. In a twist of fate, he also played alongside Manute Bol, who, at 7’7″, is one of the tallest people ever to play NBA basketball.
- No dribbling on my watch! In early basketball matches, players weren’t allowed to advance the ball. Instead, each player had to throw the ball from wherever they caught it. It wasn’t until 1897, during a game at Yale, that a team advanced the ball by dribbling. The official allowance for the dribble—initially just one per possession—was adopted four years later.
- Three-point what? You may be surprised to know that the three-pointer hasn’t always been a part of basketball. The NBA didn’t adjust its rules to include the three-point shot until the 1979-80 season.
- A legend in his time. When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left the game in 1989 at the age of 42, no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, played in more All-Star Games, won more MVP Awards, or logged more seasons. His career scoring record of 38,387 points (24.6 points per game) still stands to this day, and may never be surpassed.
Got any fun basketball facts of your own? Let us know! Leave a comment below or email us at [email protected]