5 Basketball Facts Every American Should Know

Basketball is rated the third most popular sport in the United States. The ratings were based on sports event attendance and how many people watch games on television. For people in other countries, basketball and America are synonymous. In this post, we share some interesting facts that not everyone may know.

Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball

Basketball was not always played with the iconic and well-known design that we know today. Originally, basketball was played with a soccer ball. The nets were different too. Before 1900, basketball players shot hoops into peach baskets. It was only in 1900 when the baskets as they look today were introduced.

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Basketball was invented in 1891

In 1891, James Naismith created the game of basketball. He was a physical education teacher at the YMCA and was asked to come up with a game that could be played indoors. And so, basketball came into being. Naismith probably had no idea where his invention would end up more than 100 years later.

The original rules were a bit different

Dribbling and slam dunks were not allowed in the early years of basketball. Players had to throw the ball from where they landed. This is similar to the rules for netball played in other countries. The ball was dribbled for the first time in 1897 by a team at Yale University. For several years, the slam dunk was banned but was allowed again from the 1976-77 season.

Basketball stars only emerged from 1979

Today, we revere several great basketball players as stars of the game. However, the first time that an epic game resulted in basketball greats, was in 1979. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird became the first basketball greats. They played against each other in a college basketball game during the NCAA tournament and made history.

Air Jordan shoes were prohibited

Air Jordans were against the NBA dress code when they were released. We all immediately think of Michael Jordan when we think about Air Jordans. However, he had to pay a fine every time he played with them. The NBA eventually started allowing players to wear the shoes on the court.

Knowing how basketball started and how it has changed, makes us love it even more. If you are not yet an avid basketball follower, you now at least know a few things. Keep an eye out for more interesting facts in future posts.