Basketball UK => England Basketball => UK Basketball

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England Basketball Association

Basketball UK


1891 Basketball was invented by a Canadian Dr James Naismith at Springfield College, Massachusetts. The College was the International YMCA Training School. The game was invented to provide an indoor activity for trainee YMCA Leaders. For the first game peach baskets were nailed at each end of the gymnasium.

1892 The first set of rules were published and distributed throughout the YMCA movement. The name was called after the first goals - Basketball. Through the YMCA movement the game spread rapidly in the USA and Canada.

1892 Basketball was first played in England at Birkenhead YMCA. The Club President, Mr C.J. Proctor had seen the game on a business trip to Canada. The game was developed in Merseyside area.

1893 Madame Berman Osterberg introduced the game to students at her Physical Training College in Hampstead (later Dartford College of P.E.). Changes to the game were made which lead to the first rules of Netball being published in 1901.

1898 First professional league established in the USA. Won by Trenton a former YMCA team.

1911 Basketball was first played at Birmingham YMCA

1924 Basketball was introduced as a demonstration sport at the Paris Olympic Games. Great Britain won the title. They were represented by London Central YMCA who were the National YMCA Champions.

1927 Harlem Globetrotters were formed by London born Abe Saperstein.

1932 The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) was formed in Geneva, Switzerland. William Jones - a Welshman was elected Secretary, a post he held until 1976.

1936 The English Basketball Association was formed at a meeting at London Central YMCA.

1936 Hoylake YMCA lifted the prestigious George Williams Trophy as they won the inaugural National Championship Final, 32 - 21, against London Polytechnic in Birmingham.

1936 A Basketball tournament for men was included in the Olympic Games for the first time. This was won by the USA who beat Canada in the final which was played outside in the rain.

1938 England played their first International fixture. The match was against Germany in Lille (France) and resulted in a win for England by 45 - 37.

1949 The NBA (National Basketball Association) was formed in the USA. This has become the most high profile and best professional Basketball league in the world.

1957 The English Schools Basket Ball Association was formed.

1972 Perhaps the most memorable basketball match of all time took place, the 1972 Men’s Olympic Final between the USA and USSR, won famously by the USSR (51 - 50) in the final seconds of the game. The silver medals remain in a Munich bank vault as the vanquished Americans declined to accept them.

1972 The English National Basketball League for Men was established. Contested by six teams, the first title was won by the Avenue Club from London.

1975 The English National Basketball League for Women was formed. The first title was won by the Tigers (Hertfordshire).

1976 Basketball for Women's Teams is included in the Olympic Games for the first time. The USSR won gold.

1992 Professional players from the NBA were permitted to play in the Olympic Tournament. The "Dream Team" from the USA beat Croatia in the Final.

1997 The NBA expands with the formation of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

1998 January, The Harlem Globetrotters, the world famous American Team of ‘Entertainers’ play their 20,000th game in Remington, Indiana.

1999 A record 219 teams enter EBBA National League Competitions from Cadet (U16) to Senior level. In addition another 100 clubs are expected to compete at Passerelle level (U13, U14, U15).

2000 England Basketball international John Amaechi is elected into the NBA Hall of Fame for scoring the first basket in the NBA in the new millennium for his team, Orlando Magic.

2001 The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) reach 211 member nations, the second largest of all the world’s governing bodies.


  • Basketball is the Worlds fastest growing and largest participation sport – it is played by millions all over the world.

    "Today, basketball is truly a global sport played by over 400 million people” – FIBA

  • Basketball is one of the world’s largest spectator sports – it is a major sport in every continent.
  • The International Governing Body for basketball (FIBA) has 212 countries in membership. This total is more than any other international governing body of sport.
  • It is estimated that there are around a quarter of a million people in England who regularly participate in basketball.
  • It is becoming increasingly common to find basketball as a part of primary and secondary schools curriculum.
  • Attendance at BBL games often range from anywhere from 1,000 to 3000 spectators. Major events like the Championship finals or the All-Star games often attract up to 8000 spectators
  • Visit England Basketball

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