On December 21, 1891, a physical education instructor named James Naismith introduced a new game to a class of young men in an otherwise unremarkable gymnasium at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Mass. The objective of this game seemed simple; throw a round ball into a round basket tacked to a balcony 10 feet above the floor. The pace of the game was slow and its origins humble, but the new pastime spread quickly and by 1894, basketball was being played in France, China, India and more than a dozen other countries.
On December 21, 2016, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the basketball community will celebrate 125 years of basketball with a series of events including some with a memorabilia angle.
“The game has reached far more people than Dr. Naismith could have ever imagined and we look forward to commemorating his legacy and the great game of basketball during this momentous anniversary, said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Hall.
The date August 19, marking 125 days before the 125th Anniversary, will serve as the official countdown date for the 125th Anniversary Auction on www.hoophall.com. Basketball fans will have the opportunity to bid on 125 collectibles of the game including autographed Hall of Fame Enshrinement memorabilia from the Hall of Fame’s private collection.
The Hall’s Twitter account (@hoophall) will host a number of basketball-themed countdowns such as the Top 125 Basketball Shoes of All-Time and the Top 125 Moments in the History of Basketball. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #NaismithDay to share their basketball moments and memories.
The festivities will culminate with a one-day event at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to celebrate the game on the Birthday of Basketball, December 21, 2016. Additional special events may be unveiled in 2016.