Basketball is an extremely popular around the world. It is a court game played by two teams with five players each. Basketball was invented by a man named James Naismith. The game was first played with a soccer ball. For the goals there were two peach baskets. The object is to put a ball through a hoop, or basket, and score more points than the opposing team. Although basketball can be played outdoors, it was invented to serve as an exciting indoor exercise for the winter months in the northern climate regions.
The growing popularity of basketball resulted in improvements in equipment and skills. The metal hoop was introduced in 1893, and backboards in 1895. The soccer ball was replaced by the first basketball. As playing skills also became more advanced, the game attracted more and more spectators.
By the 1920s, basketball was being played all over the United States, and tournaments were being conducted in high school and college gymnasiums. Several events in the 1930s spurred the growth of the game as a spectator sport and at the same time made basketball more exciting for the players. Most states held high school championships for boys.
Since 1898 many attempts were made to establish professional basketball as a spectator sport, but that did not happen until 1946. The National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed. In the 1970s the NBA expanded from 9 teams to 22. Some of the new franchises were acquired when the American Basketball Association merged with the NBA. During the late 1970s and early 1980s several women’s professional leagues were begun, but all of them failed financially. Recently the WNBA was formed and is going strong and doing well.
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