The American sport of basketball has come a long way since it was invented by
James Naismith in 1891. Originally, the game was played with a soccer ball and peach
baskets instead of a backboard and rim. There were no holes in the baskets and a ladder
was used to retrieve the ball if it did stay in the basket. There were about fifty
players on opposing teams and players who committed fouls were sent to a hockey-like
penalty box. Today the game has changed tremendously and basketball has become one
of the top three sports in North America.
The game of basketball has been considerably polished. It is now played on a court, each
team has a coach, and there are referees to put in force the rules. The coach plays a very
important role in building the team into a unit. However, skill is a big factor and it is the
coach's job to strengthen and improve a player's natural ability. The goal is to score more
baskets than one's opposing team. Teams are composed of twelve players, five starters
and seven substitutes. The starters are the more skilled players on the team. Each basket
inside the three point line counts as two points and each basket outside the three point
line counts as three points.
As basketball gained popularity , it ended up developing into a very fast-
paced game which required good equipment . Since basketball involves running,
jumping and pivoting, a player's shoes are his most valuable assets. Shoes continue to
change. Even the best players today have designed their own special shoes. High school
and college players feel that these shoes can help them move their game to a higher level.
In 1949, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed and this was a
major turning point for basketball. The NBA displayed its top stars and fan interest took
off like crazy. Wilt Chamberlain at seven feet one, could not be...
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