Fascinating Facts About Basketball Every Sports Fan Must Read

Fact about the balls used to play basketball
One of the most popular sports in North America, basketball helps sharpens reflexes and instills team spirit.
Quick Fact!
Michael Jordan's All-Star Game record of 262 points was broken in 2012 by Kobe Bryant (271 points).
The origin of basketball can be traced back to the year 1891. Dr. James Naismith founded this sport. Basketball came into existence as a result of his efforts to find some indoor recreational activity for children in general. Thus, Dr. Naismith became the first coach of this sport, and went on to specialize in sports physiology. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the major basketball leagues, of which USA and Canada are the member nations.
Basic Basketball Facts
In the game of basketball, the primary objective is to score points by shooting the ball in the opponent's basket. The basket is placed at a height of 10 feet. There are 5 players each in both teams. Points are scored by shooting the ball in the basket; dribbling helps players to advance towards the opponent's basket. Passing is also one of the important moves in basketball because it helps cover the distance quickly. The rules and regulations of basketball discourage players from making unfair moves.
The total duration of a basketball game played at the international level is divided in quarters of 10 minutes. In the NBA League, the quarters last for 12 minutes.
Dimensions of Basketball Court
Facts about Basketball - Basketball Court
Basketball Court
~ Size of the basketball court for international games is 28 m x 15 m. It is 28.65 m x 15.24 m for NBA League matches.

~ Diameter of the circle at the center is 3.6 m and 3.66 m for FIBA and NBA respectively.

~ Height of basketball rim is the same for NBA and international matches; the height is 3.05 m.

~ Diameter of the free-throw circle (shown near the basket in the image) is 3.60 m.
~ Radius of the restricted arc (not shown in the adjoining image) for NBA and FIBA games is 1.22 m and 1.25 m respectively; radius of the restricted arc is measured from the center of the basket. The circle is marked on the court, directly beneath and around the basket.
~ Distance between the 3-point line (represented by two large arcs in the image) and basket for NBA and FIBA games is 7.24 m and 6.75 m respectively. The distance between basket and the 3-point line at the corner is smaller; it is 6.70 m and 6.60 m for NBA and FIBA respectively.
Basketball Positions
1. Point guard
2. Shooting guard
3. Small forward
4. Power forward
5. Center
The tallest player in the team is reserved for the 'center' position. Players at the 'Shooting Guard' and 'Point Guard' positions are the shortest of all. Rest of the players play at 'Small Forward' and 'Power Forward' positions.
Did You Know?
Wilt Chamberlain is the only player to have scored 100 points in an NBA match.
Interesting Facts about Basketball
First Game of Basketball
The first ever game of basketball was played on 20th January, 1892. The court used for this game was half the size of courts used in today's NBA League games. Only one point was scored in the whole match. Nine players each from both teams participated in this game.
Basketball Soars to Popularity
People from different regions of America flocked to the YMCA Training school to obtain basketball training. Thus, YMCA Training School is the place where basketball originated. In a short span of time, it became a popular sport in USA and Canada.
College Basketball
In the first ever inter-college basketball match, the School of Agriculture from University of Minnesota defeated the Hamline School from Hamline University.
Women's Basketball
Women's basketball started in 1892 at the Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Senda Berenson who received basketball coaching from Dr. James Naismith suggested a few changes to the rules of the game to make it more suited for women. The first women's intercollegiate match was held on 21st March, 1893 between the Berenson's freshmen and sophomores.
Basketball in High School
In USA, basketball has been a popular sport from the time of its inception. School basketball was the most popular sporting activity before national level matches were telecast on TV.
Introduction of the New Ball
Earlier, the soccer ball was used for playing basketball. It was only in 1929 that a ball specially made for basketball was introduced.
Basketball Goes International
In 1932, the International Basketball Federation was formed through the joint efforts of Italy, Greece, Argentina, Portugal, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Romania, and Switzerland. The acronym of International Basketball Federation is FIBA; it is derived from the French Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur. Basketball was introduced in the Berlin Olympics (1936).
National Basketball Association (NBA)
The entry of National Basketball Association in the world of American and Canadian basketball had a huge impact on the manner in which this game was played. Popularity of basketball kept rising thereafter. The NBA league has produced some of the greatest players like Michael Jordan. Today, NBA is the best league in terms of talent, money offered to players, and popularity. Started in 1946, the NBA was earlier known as the Basketball Association of America (BAA).
Brown and Orange Balls
Earlier, basketballs were brown in color. However, the brown color hampered visibility. Tony Hinkle initiated the search for a new color for the basketball in the 1950s. The orange color was finally chosen.
Michael Jordan
He is a legend in the world of basketball. A highly gifted player, Michael Jordan has led the US team in Olympics that won gold medals in 1984 and 1992. Michael Jordan displayed great mental strength and resilience to make a spirited comeback to the NBA league. His total career score is 32,292. The record score of 5,987 (in playoffs) set by Michael Jordan is unbroken in the NBA.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
He holds the record for the highest score of 38,387 career points in the history of NBA. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) title a record 6 times. He also won the NBA championship 6 times. In his career that spanned between 1969 and 1989, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
Backboard was Added
The reason why the backboard was added to the basket is quite interesting. The audience who watched the game from the balcony used to interfere by intercepting the ball with the hand. Incorporating the backboard behind the basket prevented any such interference by the audience.
Variations of Basketball
The game of basketball is played in many different forms. Some of the variants of basketball are as follows: beach basketball, water basketball, wheelchair basketball, unicycle basketball, streetball, slamball, and dunk hoops.
Basketball at Olympics
The United States won the basketball gold medal at the London Olympics (in 2012). They beat Spain 107-100 in the gold-medal match. USA has dominated the basketball event ever since 1936 - when basketball was introduced in the Olympics. USA has won all the gold medals in the history of Olympics except for the 4 that were won by the Soviet Union (Munich Olympics, 1972 and Seoul Olympics, 1988), Yugoslavia (Moscow Olympics, 1980) and Argentina (Athens Olympics, 2004).
Tallest Basketball Players
Paul Sturgess of the United Kingdom is the tallest professional basketball player with a height of 2.32 meters (7 feet, 7.26 inches). Gheorghe Muresan (Romania) and Manute Bol (Sudan) are the tallest players in the history of NBA. Both of them have the same height i.e. 2.31 meters (7 feet, 7 inches).
The game of basketball underwent many changes after its inception in 1891. The tricks like shooting, dribbling and passing evolved in due course of time. Originally restricted to few countries, basketball has now become a popular sport the world over.
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