Basketball First Played on This Day

As the delayed season of the National Basketball Association  is now underway – MassMoments reminds us that on this day – December 21, 1891 – the game of basketball as designed by James Naismith was first played at what is known today as Springfield College in Massachusetts. As Naismith nailed a peach basket to the lower rail of a balcony in the YMCA leadership training center, he brought a new dimension to gym and physical education and of course – to the world of sports.


  …in 1891, the first game of basketball was played at what is now Springfield College. The game was invented by a Canadian, Dr. James Naismith, a versatile athlete, theologian, and physical education instructor, who envisioned “the time when Christian people would recognize the true value of athletics.” He designed basketball to occupy a class of disagreeable male students at the Springfield YMCA, who were bored with the calisthenics and children’s games in their gym class. The game attracted players and fans almost immediately. By 1936, basketball was included among the sports at the Olympic Games and is now played in 170 countries. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield in 1968.

Read the full account here at


The Boston Celtics will play their 2011 home opener on Dec. 30 against the Detroit Pistons at the TD Garden. The Celtics shortened season schedule is available here.