Basketball’s Beginnings

Joann Wolwowicz

Midnight Madness, Oct. 15, was the beginning of both the men and woman’s basketball seasons here at UNH. What better way to start of the season than with a pep rally? Basketball was actually first created by James Naismith, a Canadian physical education teacher, in 1891. The sport was first invented and played at Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Oddly enough in the beginning, the rules consisted of the players dribbling a soccer ball up and down the court and trying to get it into a peach basket fixed onto poles. The only problem was that it was a hassle to manually retrieve the ball once someone scored. An open net was introduced around 1900 to end the manual retrieval and a patent for the basketball as we know it today came about in 1929.

By 1887, teams of five were standard and the game’s popularity spread nationwide, to Canada, and to other parts of the world. A number of U.S. colleges adopted the game between 1893 and 1895 and the first college basketball games were played in 1934 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. By 1950, basketball had become a major college sport, opening the doors for professional basketball. The first pro-league was first formed in 1898 to protect the players from exploitation. That organization only lasted about five years. In 1949, two new pro-league teams joined together to form the National Basketball League (NBA.) One of the first and greatest pro-teams was the Celtics, organized in 1915. They played as many as 150 games a season and dominated basketball until 1938.

Just like with any other sport, we each have our own favorite teams that we will support win or lose. Let’s take that same attitude and go out to support and cheer on our own Charger Basketball teams. Let’s see those stands fill up before the opening buzzer.