The History of College and Professional Basketball

The history of college basketball. The first college game using five-player teams took place in Iowa City, Iowa, on Jan. 16, 1896. The University of Chicago defeated the University of Iowa, 15-12.

During the game's early days, colleges played teams in their own area. Travel was too difficult and too expensive to allow frequent games between schools from different sections of the country. Instead, teams in a region formed conferences. The Ivy League, the oldest conference still in existence, was established for the 1901-1902 season.

The first important intersectional game took place in 1934. The University of Notre Dame played New York University in Madison Square Garden in New York City as part of a double-header that attracted more than 16,000 fans and marked the beginning of intersectional basketball on a regular basis. The first national tournament, the NIT, was held at the end of the 1937-1938 season. Temple University won the first title. The University of Oregon won the first NCAA tournament, held after the 1938-1939 season.

After the end of World War II in 1945, a number of developments helped spread the popularity of college basketball. Schools built large arenas for games, in-creasing attendance. Many games were shown on television. The revenue from greater attendance and from television enabled schools to offer athletic scholarships to players. Many young athletes turned to basketball in the hope of winning a scholarship.

Until about 1950, college basketball was a largely segregated sport. Gradually, black players were allowed to play on teams that previously had only white players. By the mid-1960's, many players on major college teams were black.

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) dominated college basketball in the 1960's and 1970's. The UCLA teams, coached by John Wooden, won 10 NCAA basketball titles between 1964 and 1975.

The history of professional basketball. The first professional basketball league was the six-team National League, formed in 1 898. It lasted for five seasons. The Buffalo Germans, founded in 1895, dominated early professional basketball. The team won 111 straight games from 1908 to 1910. The most famous professional team of the early 1900's was the Original Celtics of New York City, founded in 1918. The team won 720 of 795 games from 1921 to 1928.

The American Basketball League was formed in 1925 with teams from the East and Midwest. The league disbanded in 1931 and re-formed in 1933 with teams concentrated in the East. A primarily Midwestern league called the National Basketball League (NBL) was organized in 1937. The Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed in 1946. The NBL and BAA merged in 1949 to form the National Basketball Association.

During the 1920's and 1930's, two all-black professional teams dominated their competition. The teams were the New York Renaissance Big Five, called the Rens, and the Harlem Globetrotters. Because professional leagues were segregated, the Rens and Globetrotters were forced to play exhibition games. The Globetrotters still play today.

In 1950, Chuck Cooper signed with the Boston Celtics, becoming the first black player in the NBA. In a short time, black players were on teams throughout the NBA. Some of the outstanding players of the 1950's and 1960's were such former black college stars as Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, and Elgin Baylor. Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles from 1957 to 1969.

In 1967, a professional league called the American Basketball Association was formed. It merged with the NBA in 1976, forming a 22-team league.

 






Date added: 2022-12-12; views: 329;


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