Basketball; Fast Facts

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With basketball taking center stage in high school, college and the professional ranks, what better time to brush up on your hoops history? It’s the latest Fast Facts sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

-In 1891, Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, invented Basketball.

-Early basketballs were soccer balls with laces that made dribbling nearly impossible.

-Original basketballs were brown. Orange balls were developed in 1957 to increase visibility.

-The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged to form the NBA in 1946.

-The WNBA held its inaugural season in 1997.

-Candace Parker-Naperville Central (2008), Lindsey Wisdom-Hylton-Neuqua Valley (2009), Kathleen Doyle-Benet Academy (2020) have all been selected in the WNBA Draft.

-Benet Academy graduate Frank Kaminsky is the highest local NBA draft pick. (9th in 2015 Draft). Anthony Parker from Naperville Central was drafted 21st overall in 1997.

-The first IHSA boys basketball state championship was held in 1908.

-NBA, WNBA and College courts are 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. High school courts are 84 feet.

-Naperville Central (2003 and 2004) and Benet Academy (2015 and 2016) each won IHSA back-to-back girls championships.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!