The game of basketball has a long road behind it. Invented in the 1800’s, the game of basketball was intended for indoors and applied rules of all different kinds of sports. The game was played with nine players but shortly after it changed and became a game with five players on each team. The game took flight across the country and even though women did not have many rights at this time, they also played. The first game ever played took place at the YMCA but the court was half the size they are now.
In the 1900’s basketball was played in most colleges and its popularity grew by storm creating a multitude of teams in large cities as well as the smaller cities. During that time, someone finally invented the basketball. The first woman’s college to allow the game was in Massachusetts. After word got out about the game of basketball, many teams surfaced playing all across the country. Later basketball becomes an official Olympic sport. As time past the National Basketball Association grew in popularity and by the late 1940’s they had 17 teams join the association.
The rules of the game have changed dramatically over the years. Score was kept as each basket was made the team earned one point. The rules came about from the rules of a children’s game. One player would stand near the basket and guard it as the other player throws the ball attempting to make the basket. At this time, the guard could not touch anyone else in the game. Wherever the ball was caught was where it had to be thrown. The player could not run with the ball and if the ball was out of bounce, you could throw it back into game play and to anyone who caught it, not just to a team member. The last player to touch the ball before going out of bounce was the one who threw it back in to play. The free throw line was fifteen feet from the basket but later changed to twenty feet.
Although at this time, other sports were not allowing African Americans to play or play with whites on their team. They were not even allowed to play against a white team. However, basketball was the only sport that allowed integrated teams. Basketball did not create any racial problems with fans or other teams. This game has always been the game that was for everyone. The players such as Shanty Barnett and Al Price had a tremendous impact on the game. It is not that the game was made or intended to be that way. It was the fact that the war was going on and all the valuable white players were going to fight in the war. The game itself needed the players and the African Americans who played made quite an impression to the fans, teammates, and the league.
Basketball has come along way and even at the time it was first invented, it had potential to grow. The National Basketball Association had thought it might evolve into something great. It did not matter to the coaches or the fans all that mattered was the love for the game.