Interesting Facts about Basketball

Basketball has been a popular sport in the US since the beginning of the 20th century, spreading throughout the world soon after. Players of basketball, a game requiring natural talent, strength, and endurance, are among the highest-paid athletes in professional sports; they set records and win championships.

But why do you love it? What makes it special? We all love the game for different reasons, and we’re here to celebrate that fact. Basketball fans aren’t just passionate about the sport but its culture as well.

1. The Inventor of Basketball

The sport of basketball was created by Dr. James Naismith in 1891, who went on to found the University of Kansas basketball program a year later. He wanted to develop an indoor game that would keep his students active during the winter months when they could not play football or baseball outside. [1]

2. How the Official Basketball is made

The official ball for the men’s competition is made up of leather panels stitched together, with a rubber bladder inside filled with pressurized air; it weighs approximately 22 ounces (625 grams). The official women’s ball has similar construction but is smaller at 20 ounces (572 grams).

3. Basketball was once a Nameless Sport

Basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith in 1891, but the game went without a name until one of its original players suggested calling it “Naismith Ball”—a suggestion that was quickly declined. Frank Mahan suggested calling it “basketball” instead, given that players have a ball and a basket to score.

4. Original Basketballs were Brown

In the early 20th century, basketballs were dark-brown. It was very hard for players and spectators to see these balls, so Tony Hinkle, head coach of Butler University in Indiana, proposed that orange basketballs be used instead. [2]

5. The Foundation of FIBA

On June 18, 1932, eight European national federations for basketball came together in Geneva, Switzerland, to form FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball). The founding members were Argentina, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Switzerland.

Basketball was governed by the International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) until it was transferred to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

6. The Longest Game in NBA History

In 1951, the Indianapolis Olympians hosted the Rochester Royals for a game that still holds the record for the longest game in NBA history. After six overtimes and a final score of 75-73, the Olympians emerged victoriously. [3]

7. The First-ever Basketball Match in Europe

The first-ever basketball match in Europe was played in 1893 between the YMCA, a team from Springfield College, and the Chicago Athletic Association. The game was played on January 9, 1891, on Jarvis Field at the Springfield College campus. The YMCA won 4-1.

8. The Women’s National Basketball Association

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) was established in 1997 with eight teams; by 2004, the number of teams had increased to 14. However, some teams were disbanded in subsequent years, leaving 12 teams as of 2021.

9. Basketball Games Played in the 1900s

In the early 1900s, basketball games were played inside chicken-wire cages in order to prevent players from falling onto the spectators. It was, later on, stopped as many players had often been injured. [4]

10. Longest Ever Suspension in the NBA

Ron Artest, who played for the Indiana Pacers, holds the record for the longest suspension in NBA history. After a fight with fans at Madison Square Garden, he was suspended for 86 games (73 regular-season games and 13 playoff games). Not only did Artest lose most of his salary ($7 million), but he also had to change teams after being traded to the Houston Rockets.

11. The Standard “Basketball”

The standard basketball is round and made of leather or synthetic materials. It measures 28 inches (71 cm) in circumference, 9 inches (23 cm) in width, and weighs 22 ounces (623 grams). Porpoise balls were used for many years, but these gave way to rubber balls in the 1940s due to health concerns about exposure to lead from the pigments used in porpoise hides.

12. The First Professional Basketball League

In 1898, Frank Mahan founded the first modern professional basketball league. He is widely known as the “father of professional basketball.” Each team had five players; one served as captain and another as a coach. The first professional games were played in December 1898 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden between two teams sponsored by bicycle manufacturers.

13. NBA Players Burn Nearly 800 Calories in Every Game

Basketball is a sport that requires a lot of stamina, agility, and speed. The average player burns about 575 to 775 calories in an hour of playing basketball. That’s the equivalent of running four miles! Additionally, Basketball players use almost all their muscles during a game. Their legs are especially important because they help them jump high into the air to block shots or dunk the ball into the basket. [5]

14. Doing Warm-up is Essential before Playing Basketball

NBA players sit on the bench for most of each game. When they’re not playing, they’re often resting on their backsides or sitting with their feet up on something. This can lead to back pain if you don’t warm up properly before games and practices. A good warm-up will stretch your muscles and joints, so they’re more flexible and mobile when it’s time to start playing hard!

15. Dribbling Wasn’t Part of Basketball in the Beginning

Dribbling wasn’t part of basketball in its early years; players could only pass the ball and shoot it into the basket. Dribbling was introduced later to give players more control over their shots. [6]

16. The First Basketball Court Used Poles Instead Of Free Throw Lines for Foul Calls

The first basketball court had no free throw lines or three-point arcs; fouls were called when players touched the ball after it went through the basket or if they touched it while holding it behind them (known as traveling). Officials used poles instead of free-throw lines because they were easier to set up than lines would have been — especially since there were no teams yet.

17. Record for Scoring the Most Points in a Single Basketball Game

Wilt Chamberlain, who played for the Philadelphia Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, holds the record for most points in a single game of basketball. On March 2, 1962, he scored 100 points against the New York Knicks at Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Chamberlain scored all of his 100 points during regulation time and 19 more points during overtime to tie his own record of four times scoring more than 50 points in a single game.

18. Youngest Basketballer to Score 20,000 Career Points

LeBron James is the youngest basketballer to score 20,000 career points in basketball history. LeBron James scored his 20,000th career point in a road win against the Golden State Warriors on January 16, 2013. His point total included 2 points from an 18-foot jumper made with 2:45 left in the second quarter to give him 2,001 career points. James needed 18 points entering the game to be the 38th NBA player to reach the mark. [7]

19. The Best-Selling Basketball Shoe of All Time

The best-selling basketball shoe of all time is the Air Jordan series designed by Nike and released by Michael Jordan in 1984; the first pair came out in 1985 and sold $100 million worth of shoes before they even hit stores. The Air Jordan III was released in 1988 and became the first basketball sneaker to sell more than $1 million per pair; it sold well into 1989 despite being banned from several high school leagues across the country due to its price tag and popularity among teens.

The Air Jordan IV, released in 1990, improved on the II’s design by adding a clear window so everyone could see how much air was left inside each shoe.

20. North Korea Has Different Basketball Rules

In North Korea, there’s no dribbling allowed when playing basketball — only passing or shooting from close range with two hands on your stick at all times during play. Also, if someone commits a foul or gets hit with the ball, it counts as two points for the other team! [8]

Even though most Americans wear sneakers when they play basketball, North Koreans wear only socks, and their feet must be clean at all times during a game. This rule is strictly enforced by officials who make sure players don’t foul out or step out of bounds during a game by watching their feet closely during play.


Basketball has been an important part of America and American culture. The game may not have a host of historical or culturally significant aspects attached to it, but from the invention of the modern basketball in 1892 by James Naismith to Michael Jordan’s induction into the Hall of Fame in 2009, the sport has made many contributions to American society and lifestyle.