First Game of Basketball played in Massachusetts

As UMass Lowell is in the midst of a Division One basketball game with Duquesne University this afternoon at the Tsongas Center, we are reminded 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.


  …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.

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