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Sports History Essay

2828 words - 12 pages

History of Men’s Basketball and the influence
On American Society
Will have on College Sports

Basketball is an organized team sport which consists of 5 players from each team competing against each other. The object of the game is to shoot a round ball into a circular basket. Basketball can be played in an organized manner or at a park or local gym for recreational purposes. Over the past 100 years the game of basketball has grown from a peach basket to highlight slam dunks. As time has passed by, the rules and the way the game is played has changed. New rules were implemented to make the game more enjoyable and create more of a competitive balance for all ...view middle of the document...

The media’s use of technology helped the sport grow but also swayed public’s perception of certain teams and players. In this paper I will review the history of the sport of basketball from the beginning to now and discuss the impact it has had on American history and culture.

The sport of basketball was invented in 1891 by Canadian doctor named Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith was a physical education teacher who wanted the students to engage in physical activities during the winter. Football and baseball were played outdoors during the summer and fall. But, it was too cold outside during the winter to play football or baseball. Basketball was started at a local YMCA and with a peach basket nailed 10 feet high to the wall. In the beginning, the peach basket was not cut at the bottom, so after ever basket the ball would have to be retrieved. As the years passed along, Naismith’s original rules began to change to make the game easier to play and understand. The object of the game was simple and consisted of throwing or shooting a round ball into the basket. (Gems, Borish & Pfister, 2008)
Over the next 20 years, the rules of the game began to get modified and were played at on multiple levels. Basketball was being played in an organized way on the high school, college, and professional level. While the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a decade it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the YMCA's primary mission. However, other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs quickly filled the void. Dr. Naismith was adamant to start an organized basketball league at the collegiate level. Naismith and “colleague C.O. Beamis fielded the first college basketball team just a year after the Springfield YMCA game at the suburban Pittsburgh Geneva College.” (Fuoco 2010) Naismith began coaching at Kanas University where helped propel the coaching career of one of his students Adolph Rupp, who later became the legendary coach of Kentucky. College basketball began to spread across the nation, and more schools were beginning to play the sport of basketball. On February 9, 1895, the first college basketball 5-on-5 game was played at Hamline University between Hamline and the School of Agriculture.
Although college basketball was established before the civil rights movement, blacks were allowed to play college basketball with white people. African-American athletes such as Wilbur Wood, Paul Robeson, Fenwick Watkins, and Cumberland Posey became basketball stars before World War I in white major-college programs. But, that was not the case at some schools. It was not until 1947 that the Big Ten Conference did not allow blacks to play on the basketball team. William Garrnet was the first black player to play basketball at Indiana University. This event was a year after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in...

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