The game of basketball was introduced in Great Britain close to 130 years ago. The president of YMCA, CJ Proctor, is credited with introducing the sport back in the year 1892. The game had been invented just one year earlier in Canada, where Proctor had visited. The inventor of the game was called Dr Naismith, who was a Physical Education teacher. He came up with the sport as a way of ensuring his students remained active during the winter season when it was too cold to go outside. Proctor learned the concept of the game and introduced it in the UK when he travelled back.
Basketball in Britain – Early Years
The same rules of the game that were written by Naismith were used in Britain. The hoops used were made from fruit baskets with the bottoms still there. Someone had to use a stick to get the ball out of the basket after a point was scored. In later years, the baskets used had holes at the bottom to allow the ball to fall through.
The World War Effect
The popularity of the game started to increase, and many young men began to play. However, that went on until when World War I started in 1914. Many young men playing basketball left their homes to participate in the war, leaving very few to participate in the sport. When America joined the war in 1917, however, this political deal allowed British basketball players to learn more about the game. The popularity of the game in Britain grew again after the war. The sport was even included as a demonstration game in the 1924 Olympic Games. There was a team from the YMCA that represented Great Britain, which won all the games.
Just as in world war I, the American soldiers gave the British basketball a boost after joining World War II in 1943. The popularity continued to grow up to date.