NBA History

The VERY first basketball game was played on December 21, 1891. Halfway into the 30 minute game, which had 18 players, 9 per team, William R. Chase made the first basket ever; as a result, his side won, 1-0.

The First Basketball Team
Photo Credit: Hoopedia

Dr. Naismith’s gym class produced the first team in 1891. They consisted of nine players and their coach, pictured here on the steps of Springfield College Gymnasium in 1891. Back row: John G. Thompson, New Glasgow, N.S.; Eugene S. Libby, Redlands, Cal.; Edwin P. Ruggles, Milton, Mass.; William R. Chase, New Bedford, Mass.; T. Duncan Patton, Montreal, Que. Center: Frank Mahan, Memphis, Tenn.; James Naismith, Almonte, Ont. Front row: F. G. Macdonald, Pictou, N.S.; William H. Davis, Holyoke, Mass.; Lyman W. Archibald, Truro, N.S.

Honored in the NBA Hall of Fame are these eighteen men and Dr. Naismith.

James Naismith (not the Coach; he didn’t think coaches were needed)
Lyman W. Archibald
William R. Chase
William H. Davis
Eugene S. Libby
F. G. Macdonald
Frank Mahan
T. Duncan Patton
Edwin P. Ruggles
John G. Thompson
Franklin Everets Barnes
Wilbert Franklin Carey
George Edward Day
Benjamin Snell French
Henry Gelan
Ernest Gotthold Hildner
Genzaburo Ishikawa (First Japanese basketball player)
Raymond Pimlott Kaighn
George Radford Weller

Through the efforts of the above men, the great game of basketball was born on a cold December day. If you know of deserving NBA history websites that should be here, please contact us!


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