Text by Aarya Menon
The invention of Basketball
Basketball is a team sport played with 12 players on each team. Each team is represented by five players and the other seven members play as substitutes. It is played on a rectangular court of dimensions 28m by 15m. The main objective of the game is to shoot the basketball through the defender’s hoop. Each converted basket is scored as two points unless scored from beyond the 3-point line. Players may use a variety of shots like- layup, jump shot and dunk.
It was invented by James Naismith, a physical education professor in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States of America. It was created as an indoor sport for athletes to play during winters. Naismith published 13 rules for the sport. At first, it consisted of Peach baskets and a soccer ball. The peach baskets were closed from below unlike the baskets used in current games. After each basket, the game was halted so that the ball could be retrieved using a ladder. After some time, the bottom of the peach baskets was removed for convenience. The first public basketball game was played on 11 March 1892 in Springfield.
The first professional league
The first professional league, the National Basketball League was founded in 1898. The first league saw six teams in play and it later garnered a lot of support. But the league was disbanded in 1904. World basketball was in continuous growth, but the first significant organization was founded on 11 June 1932 to coordinate tournaments (FIBA). The founding countries included- Argentina Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland. National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded on 6 June 1946 with the name Basketball Association of America (BAA). They later adopted the name NBA in 1949. The NBA has popularized basketball in many other parts of the world.
The top players in Basketball
NBA has given the world many famous basketball players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal. One of my favourites is Stephen Curry, who is the son of the former NBA player Dell Curry. He plays for the Golden State Warriors. He is said to be the greatest shooter in the history of NBA and he has also revolutionized the three-point shot. Some of the famous women NBA players include Maya Moore, Becky Hammon and Candace Parker.
In present times, the pace of basketball has picked up, which is way faster than the one played in the 1900s. In the present scenario, basketball has a much larger audience than it had a few years back. The players are far more well-known and popular among people of all ages. Money has also become a huge factor for people to take up the sport. The average salary of an NBA player as of 2019 is US $7.7 million for a season.
When Basketball came to India
Basketball was played in India in 1930 for the very first time. The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) controls the game in our country. Currently, it is known as one of the widely played sports in India. One of the most famous Indian basketball players is Satnam Singh Bhamara. At a whopping height of 7ft 2in, he is the only Indian player to have qualified for the NBA drafts.
Why I chose Basketball
Basketball has been a very important part of my life for the past 5-6 years. I was introduced to the sport by a friend of mine who had been playing the sport for two years back then. The sport really intrigued me and I started going for classes and at the end of a few months, it made me feel like this was my calling. It has helped me develop my leadership skills and team spirit. It has made me aware of how important it is to be open to suggestions and work as a team member for a common goal. Basketball has helped build my personality into one of an outgoing and confident girl.
I would like to recommend this sport to everybody because it made a huge difference in my life and someday I hope it would make a difference in yours too!
About our writing program student:
Aarya Menon is a Grade XI student from DPS, Undri, Pune. This 16-year-old science student is also an aspiring writer, fond of fine arts and is an avid basketball player.
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