The first basketball game was played on a regulation 94-foot by 50-foot court in 1891. James Naismith, physical director of the Y.M.C.A. College, Springfield, Mass., originated the game. Early basketball collectibles relate to high school and college teams.
Professional basketball was played prior to World War II. However, it was not until 1949 and the founding of the United States National Basketball Association that the sport achieved national status. Competing leagues, franchise changes, and Olympic teams compete for collector loyalty.
Reference: Roderick Malloy, “Malloy’s Sports Collectibles Value Guide,” Attic Books, Wallace-Homestead, Krause Publications, 1993.
— Harry L. Rinker
“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”