Basketball Facts - Did You Know...
It’s one of the nation’s most beloved sports. It’s beloved by men and women of all ages. It’s not only a fast paced and kinetic sport that spectators love to enjoy, it’s been keeping players fit, healthy, happy and disciplined all over the world for generations. We’re talking of course about basketball. Whether you like to play it or watch it, you may not have known these fascinating facts about this awesome sport.
The Lines on Basketballs Have a Particular Purpose
Those grooved lines that give a basketball its distinct appearance aren’t just decorative. If you ever wondered what the lines are for, they’ve actually been helping you play, you just didn’t know it! The lines actually make the ball easier to grab and hold, making for easier dribbling, passing and shooting.
That White Square is Not Just for Decoration
If you ever wondered what the square on the backboard of a basketball hoop is, it’s not just there because it looks pretty. It’s actually intended to guide player’s aim when making a bank shot. Why bank shots? Because the University of North Carolina carried out state of the art research study which determined that bank shots were more likely to score points than any other kinds of shots. The square is intended to help players to calculate the trajectory of the ball off the board and into the net.
It Was Almost Called “Naismith Ball”
Basketball was invented in 1891 by Canadian American, James Naismith. The Physical Education teacher and sports enthusiast actually invented the sport while working at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. The management found that in the inclement winter months the young men would become bored, listless or agitated. He was tasked with coming up with a new activity that would keep them occupied and reduce the risk of ill behavior or fights breaking out. Thus, he came up with a sport that was fast paced and energetic yet offered few opportunities for physical contact or collisions.
The game was extremely popular. So much so that the early players wanted to name it “Naismith ball” after its inventor. But the self-effacing sportsman didn’t take to the idea. Instead he named it basketball after the peach baskets into which the ball was thrown to score points.
The NBA Wasn’t the Only National Basketball League
Many basketball fans are more than familiar with the NBA but enthusiasts of a certain age will remember a time when the league wasn’t the only national basketball association in the country. The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a rival league of 10 teams which set out to provide players and spectators with an alternative. The league began play in the 1967-68 season but it was to be fairly short lived. The association folded nine years later after the 1975-76 season. In fact, their legacy remains to this day! Four current NBA teams – Indiana, Denver, New York, and San Antonio – actually originated in the ABA.