Basketball was invented in December 1891 by the Canadian clergyman, educator, and physician James Naismith. Naismith introduced the game when we was an instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association Training School now Springfield College)in Springfield, Massachusetts. At the request of his superior, Dr. Luther H. Gulick, he organized a vigorous recreation suitable for indoor winter play. The game involved elements of American football, soccer, and hockey, and the first ball used was a soccer ball. Teams had nine players, and the goals were wooden peach baskets affixed to the walls. By 1897-1898, teams of five became standard. The game rapidly spread nationwide and to Canada and other parts of the world, played by both women and men - it also became a popular informal outdoor game. U.S. servicemen in World War II (1939-1945) popularized the sport in many other countries. Information supplied by Wikipedia.
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