January 30, 2019

For most of us, sports are as American as apple pie, rock ‘n roll, and reality stars. We love the competition. We love the teamwork. Sports are often a common bond between strangers. Not only that, but it has become a huge social outlet. There is always a sport to enjoy. We have the Super Bowl, World Series, March Madness, the list of exciting events surrounding sports is endless. And man, do we love every minute of it.

The American culture is completely entrenched in sports. It is part of our DNA, you could say. Sports are well-integrated into our culture, as they have always been played here ever since sports were first organized. There have also been a lot of sports created in America, which happen to be the most exciting to us obviously. Basketball was a sport that was completely idolized from the very beginning, in 1891, when it was created.

Today basketball isn’t considered the most popular sport in America, but it is the most widely known. It would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t know how to play the game. It is easy to learn and a great team sport. Most people grew up playing the game. It also helps that we are taught the rules of the game and played basketball through elementary school, middle school, and high school as part of the physical education curriculum. Basketball has also become more popular throughout school curriculum outside of the US. The United States is the home of basketball, but really has become a worldwide loved sport through the years.

Basketball and Physical Education really do go hand in hand. Basketball was created for the school system to keep young athletes engaged and in good shape. James Naismith created the game when he was a physical education teacher at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was given 14 days to create an indoor game that gave his students an “athletic distraction” during the cold winter months to keep the young athletes physically active. Basketball grew throughout the 20th century in America and then the rest of the world. When the National Basketball Association was established in 1946, it quickly became an integral part of American culture.

Basketball was created by an educator for the education system and has continued to be a popular sport taught to young people in school. The main goal of physical education in the school system is to foster knowledge, skills, and confidence so individuals may enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Physical education fosters these skills better than any other learning method through schools. Basketball has become one of their biggest teaching skills. It is still widely taught in the physical education system throughout schools today.

But the popularity doesn’t end there. Professional and College Basketball continues to drive its audience out of their seats. No wonder it has landed its name among one of the most famous sports ever. Maybe this is because everyone knows how to play the game. Or maybe it has to do with our love of the idea of the American dream. Anyone can learn the skills and become whatever they set their mind to. These athletes are definitely genetically gifted, but there also is a lot of hard work that goes into their talent. We like the idea that it could also be attainable for anyone to become a good basketball player. We essentially grow up learning the game, we watch it on television or go to professional or college games and see the end result of really sharpening your skills.

It’s crazy to think about how basketball began. In the beginning, the game consisted of peach baskets and a soccer type ball. The fruit baskets were nailed to the railing of the gym balcony. Every time someone scored a point, the game was stopped, so the janitor could bring out a ladder to get the ball out. After some time, they put a hole at the bottom of the fruit baskets so they could poke it with a stick to get the ball out. Now they were really on to something.

The first basketball backboards were actually invented in 1893, but they weren’t part of the game just yet. They were used to keep the fans from interfering with the game. Playing basketball without a backboard meant the fans could snatch the ball after a missed shot. This is probably what prompted the invention of the rebound; which was not yet part of the game. Next came wooden backboards in 1904. About 5 years later they invented glass backboards so the fans could see more of the game without the backboard blocking their view. Finally, the nylon net was brought into the picture in 1912. This allowed the game to move much faster and gave more scoring opportunities. Thank goodness! Could you imagine how long it would take to play a game where the basketball had to be retrieved each time?

Now, as you can imagine, the evolution of the basketball hoop into what it is today has everything to do with the popularity of the sport today. I’m not sure many people would watch a game where every time a player scored, we waited while they retrieved the ball to then continue the game. In fact, the very first basketball game ever played ended with a score of 1-0. How boring! But with this basketball hoop evolution, also came bigger, heavier, more dangerous equipment to facilitate what a basketball hoop is today. The basketball units we have today need to be installed correctly and properly maintained. Good equipment and gym inspections are important to keep the game safe and enjoyable.  

It’s exciting to look back on how far the basketball hoop has come from where it began. You can definitely see that where the game is at today, as far as popularity, has everything to do with that evolution. ADP Lemco provides basketball backstops to many facilities throughout the United States. Schools are our biggest market and that has a lot to do with how important basketball is in the physical education curriculum. We provide excellent product, and along with that product, comes even better service. School gym inspections will keep your units performing optimally and will keep your facilities safe, so we can all continue to enjoy the incredible game of basketball.