Basketball Fun Facts

  • James Naismith, a teacher at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, is credited with inventing basketball in 1891.
  • The first “hoops” were actually just peach baskets and the first backboards were made of wire.
  • The game became an official Olympic event at the Summer Games in Berlin, Germany in 1936.
  • Two leagues called the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged after the 1948-49 season to become today's National Basketball Association (NBA).
  • The Boston Celtics have won the most NBA championships (17), including seven straight from 1960 to 1966.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played 20 seasons in the NBA, holds the record for most points scored in a career with 38,387.
  • On March 2, 1962, Philadelphia center Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in one game against New York. That is the most one player has ever scored in one game.
  • Current Atlanta Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens has won more basketball games than any other coach.
  • The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a 10-team rival league to the NBA that began play in the 1967-68 season and folded nine years later after the 1975-76 season. Four current NBA teams – Indiana, Denver, New York, and San Antonio – originated in the ABA.
  • The NBA instituted the three-pointer before the 1979-80 season, an idea it borrowed from the ABA.
  • The Chicago Bulls have won all six NBA Finals in which they've appeared.
    The Chicago Bulls with their trophies
    AP Photos
  • Michael Jordan, who retired in January 1999 but returned to the league in 2001, has scored more points (5,987) in the playoffs than any other player.
  • The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is located in Springfield, Mass.

Leading NCAA Division I Women, 2005–2006 Basketball National Basketball Association Champions

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