Canadian James Naismith 1862 - 1939 is regarded as being the originator of basketball, although a game very similiar to basketball was played in Mexico in the 10th Century.
It was in 1891 at YMCA college in Springfield, Massechusetts, USA that the game was first played using peach baskets hung on the gym wall, the main reason for coming up with the game is the college was looking for something to bridge the gap between the football and baseball season's. However it soon became a popular sport in it's own right.
A five a side team game played on a hard surface court with a bottomless basket at each end and a ball.
The aim of the game is to move the ball down the court in a series of passing and bouncing moves until your close enough to throw the ball into the opponents basket.
Each side has a prescribed time to make an attempt at a shot (The NBA decrees 24 seconds.) If the shot isn't attempted possession passes to the other side. If the ball passes through the basket from open play a field goal is scored worth two or three points dependent upon distance, fouls will be penalized by a series of free throws at the basket worth one point each. There are many basketball leagues and tournaments some of the better known are:
World Championship this takes place every four years first held in 1950 for the men's game and 1953 for the ladies game, the first men's winners were Argentina the first ladies were USA.
Olympic Champions first held in 1936 for men the ladies had to wait another 40 years until 1976 USA won the first men's final and the USSR won the first ladies.
NBA Championship first held in 1947 as the basketball association of America BAA renamed in 1949 as the NBA Professional basketball's major competition and end of season best of seven game play off involving the champion teams from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. the first winners were Philadelphia Warriors (EC)
Most Valuable Player an annual award to the most outstanding player in the NBA the first winner was Bob Pettit of the St Louis Hawks in 1956.
WNBA Championship first held in 1997 it is the major competition for women's professional basketball in North America a best of three games series. first winners were Houston Comets.
FIBA European Champions first held in 1958 originally a knockout competition between the national champion clubs but reorganized on a league basis in 1992. first winners were ASK Riga USSR
British Basketball League Champions a two conference league first won by Portsmouth in 1988.
British Basketball League Playoff winners an end of season play off tournament, Between the leading teams in the British Basketball League first winners were Livingston in 1988