From the US to Cameroon to Croatia, everyone is playing basketball. It is truly a global sport—and it all began at the YMCA. When Dr. James Naismith was a young faculty member at the YMCA International Training School in Massachusetts, he was charged with instructing a group of young men who had little to no interest in the common calisthenics exercises of the day, so he set about developing a new game that would draw their attention and provide the physical activity needed to keep them healthy.
Taking inspiration from other team games, Dr. Naismith created a team sport with a peach basket and a soccer ball played indoors on hardwood. The group loved it, and the game was born. On December 21, 1891, the first-ever game of basketball was played.
The YMCA continues this tradition more than a century later, with a variety of youth and adult basketball programs for all ages and all skill levels. YMCA basketball promotes life skills through the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, communication, and exercise.