Please email or share this article!

Interesting Basketball Facts for Kids

Basketball is one of the most enjoyable sports for all age groups. It is an extremely physically demanding game that requires considerable endurance, skill, and strong teamwork to outperform other teams and win.

The sport was invented in December 1891 and was very different from how it is today not so long ago as the game used to be played with 9 players on each team at one point, making 18 total players on the court playing together.

Today, it is a highly well-liked sport played by 5 players on each team using an orange, spherical, and springy ball, and the court’s flooring is made of wood.

With such a long history, the game has a significant number of facts, and now we’re sharing them to blow your mind.

Also Read: History Facts For Kids

15 Fascinating Basketball Facts

1. Basketball was invented early in 1891

Interesting Basketball Facts

Dr. James Naismith, a physical education instructor, invented basketball while looking for activities to keep his students occupied on a rainy day in December 1891.

He was attempting to design a game to be played over the long winters. On January 20, 1892, nine players participated in the first game. Then, in 1898, it was decided to have five players in a team instead. Despite being primarily associated with America, the first professional game was held in Toronto, Canada. It was recognized as a legitimate sport at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

2. The basketball was played without net baskets

basketball was played without net baskets

Peach baskets were formerly used to play the game with their bases still intact. So, with every shoot that a team would score, the match officials would have to halt the game to retrieve the ball to continue playing.

The game’s modern string baskets were first introduced in 1900, and backboards were subsequently added to stop spectators from blocking shots.

3. Soccer balls were used to play basketball.

Since the basketball ball hadn’t been invented, the initial basketball games were played with a soccer ball. The issue with soccer balls was that they had laces at that time, so they turned out to be very difficult to handle the ball.

The original basketballs created expressly for basketball were brown. Tony Hinkle didn’t introduce the orange ball that is now standard usage until the late 1950s while looking for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike.

Also Read About Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali

4. Dribbling was not an essential part of the basketball game till the 1950s.

Dribbling was not an essential part of the basketball game

Basketball and Naismith’s game 125 years ago differs significantly, with dribbling being one of the most significant distinctions.  It was not allowed initially allowed to dribble in the basketball game except when passing the ball to other teammates with a bounce. Players were required to throw the ball from the position where they had just caught it, giving the person in motion just a few steps to see it.

Dribbling became a significant part of the game in the 1950s when manufacturers improved the ball shape and structure.

5. The first 3-pointer was scored years after its introduction.

first 3-pointer

The 3-point line wasn’t established until 1961, 70 years after the sport was initially played. The American Basketball League (ABL) was responsible for setting up the first professional basketball league to employ it. The first player to make a three-point basket in a game occurred on October 12, 1979.

6. Basketball games were played in mesh cages.

The first officially recognized professional basketball players competed in 1896 in a social hall surrounded by a 12-foot-tall wire mesh barrier. There wasn’t an “out-of-bounds” area because the cage was positioned along the sides and endlines. These cages helped protect players from tripping over spectators in the early 1900s or players squabbling over the ball. However, this was quickly discontinued since too many players were suffering injuries.

7. The free shot was provided to any member of the team.

Another fascinating basketball fact is that, before 1921, any team member may attempt a free shot, regardless of who had committed the foul. Only in the 1920s was it established that the guy who was fouled would be the one to take the free shot.

8. FIBA governs international basketball matches.

Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur, popularly known as the International Basketball Federation, was founded by eight countries, including the following:

  • Argentina
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Greece
  • Italy\sLatvia\sPortugal\sRomania
  • Switzerland

The FIBA was established in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 18th, 1932.

Also Read: Fun Baseball Facts for Kids

9. Basketball world championships did not include women until 1953,

In the NBA, just 2 women were selected even though the competition for men started in 1950. The men’s competition was named FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2014. Denise Long was chosen by the San Francisco Warriors in the 13th round, and the New Orleans Jazz chose Luisa Harris with the 137th overall choice.

10.  Goaltending used to be legal in basketball games.

Goaltending used to be legal in basketball games

Let’s first define goaltending before revealing the truth about it: Interfering with the ball while it is (a) on a downward trajectory, (b) above the basket ring and inside the imaginary cylinder, and (c) not reaching the rim is known as goaltending in basketball.

Goaltending was not regarded as a violation until 1943, and the reason for this is one of the craziest basketball facts: there were relatively few players who could adequately do goaltending.

11. Only in 1903 did basketball courts become formally straight.

The basketball courts frequently had varying forms before 1903. Despite play interference, occasional barriers like pillars, stairs, or offices were accepted as usual. In 1903, a regulation mandating straight boundary lines was finally made official.

12. The game with the most prolonged duration in the NBA lasted 78 minutes.

A standard basketball game lasts 48 minutes, divided into 4 quarters of 12 minutes each. However, the longest basketball game was contested between the American clubs Rochester Royals and Indianapolis Olympians on January 6, which was held at Rochester, New York’s Edgerton Park Arena and lasted about 78 minutes. The Indianapolis Olympians triumphed 75-73 in the game after six overtimes.

13. Michael Jordan is hailed as the best basketball player of all time.

Michael Jordan

Jordan was among the NBA’s best winners as he racked up a staggering 33.4 PPG. He has the most 50, 40, 30, and 20-point playoff performances. Jordan has scored at least 10 points in every postseason game he has participated in.

His career average of 30.1 points per game was the highest in the history of the NBA, and he set a record with his ten scoring championships.

According to reports, Jordan’s net worth as of February 2020 was $2.1 billion. His lifetime earnings include a salary of around $90 million and more than $1.4 billion from corporate partners. For starters, his collaboration with Nike gave rise to the Jordan Brand, a division of the large clothing company.

14. 8.05 feet tall was the highest basketball player ever measured.

As far as height goes, Suleiman ‘Ali Nashnush (1943–1991) still holds the title of the tallest basketball player ever. In 1962, he was a player for the Libyan squad, standing a little over 8 feet.

15. The best all-black team is the New York Renaissance

The squad, often referred to as the Rens, was established by Robert Douglas in 1923. They had 88 games they won in a row during the 1932–33 season. In addition, the Rens defeated the Oshkosh All-Stars and the Harlem Globetrotters in Chicago’s global championship pro tournament.

Also Read: Fun New York Facts & Information


This brings us to the end of our list of 15 basketball interesting facts. We hope you learned a good deal from it. How many of these were you previously familiar with?