Developed from a similar Canadian children's game, basketball was first used by Dr. James Naismith as a form of physical exercise at the YMCA Training School at Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891. Originally using an English football (soccer) and a peach basket, the game was played on a court half the size of today's regulation playing field.

The game quickly became popular and, carried by such notable students of Dr, Naismith's as Adolph Rupp and Amos Stagg, was soon a standard feature of indoor athletics. By the turn of the century basketball was well established in colleges and universities across the country and had been modified for both males and females. In the 1930's the game was being codified and regulated by several organizations and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the NCAA.

By the early 1950's a new type of ball was introduced specifically for basketball. The bright orange sphere was easier to see and handle. Movement of play went from being a mostly passing game to the structured "dribbling" movement. With its emphasis on non contact and simple equipment needs, basketball became the game of choice for almost all schools from grade school level through college. As a spectator sport, professional basketball still draws millions of viewers every season both at live play and televised events.

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