The Story Of How Basketball Was Created

The History of Basketball


“Peach basket” by Lorianne DiSabato is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By: Henry Hung, Journalist

Have you ever wondered who invented Basketball? Basketball is a sport that has less than 200 years of history. Yet, it is one of the most-watched sports in the world. Basketball was invented by James Naismith. He was born in Canada and played multiple sports in college. While working at a YMCA in Boston, he was trying to make a sport that could be played indoors, due to harsh weather in the winter. The YMCA’s owner demanded that Naismith create a sport to keep athletes well-shaped and prepared for spring sports. 

At first, Naismith analyzed some of the most popular games of the time. He wanted to create a sport that did not have as much body contact as football or soccer. Naismith also decided that players in two teams need to aim and throw a ball at a box. Next, he asked the janitor for two boxes, one for each team to score on. He named this sport “Basket Ball”. 

The first official game of basketball happened in 1891. Instead of using a basketball, the players used soccer balls. Instead of a basketball hoop, the players aimed at peach baskets. By 1893, YMCA introduced the sport internationally. 

Naismith, with the help of two peach baskets and soccer balls, created one of the most popular sports today. With over one million viewers per game, the National Basketball Association (NBA), is the second most-viewed sport in America (behind NFL). 


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