It’s been 130 years since the game of BASKETBALL began at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) gym in Springfield, invented by Canadian P.H.E instructor James Naismith.

Since then it as grown leaps and bounds with the game, with Major rule changes over the years addressed the number of players, the court boundaries, dribbling, and the elimination of the center jump after made baskets.

It’s always fun watching basketball and see players execute various skills, but it is not a simple sport. It takes great endurance, competence and team spirit to outscore other teams and win the game. There is a lot more to the game than just players, a court, a referee and a ball.

Basketball was originally played with a different ball. As odd as it sounds, the game was initially played with a typical soccer ball as well as peach baskets. Interestingly, referees had to retrieve the ball every time a basket was made. However, this changed in the year 1900 when string baskets were introduced and backboards were put in place to deter spectators from disrupting a shot.

The game which is one of the greatest in the world has no doubts produced exceptional talents, like Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Michael Jordan, Late Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Olumide Oyedeji, Hakeem Olajuwon and so on. The list is endless with many rookies also in line to achieve or possibly surpass feats attained by the aforesaid ex-players.

Originally, there was no set rule on the number of players. The idea was that the game could be played by any number of players. However, that did not work out. After experimenting with teams up to 50 players, early games were primarily played by nine players on each side – the reason being that 18 students showed up for Naismith’s class. In 1897 five players became the mandatory team size.

Basketball has evolved in many ways since its invention, as journalist of the game, I am happy to be part of the coverage.