Basketball

My little brother’s, my own in-house Rube, favorite sport. So this one is for Eric Pettigrew.

 

First things first: thanks to USA Basketball.com, Dr. James Naismith’s Original 13 Rules of the Game of Basketball

1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.

2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands (never with the fist).

3. A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at a good speed if he tries to stop.

4. The ball must be held in or between the hands; the arms or body must not be used for holding it.

5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed; the first infringement of this rule by any player shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute allowed.

6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of Rules 3,4, and such as described in Rule 5.

7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls, it shall count a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the mean time making a foul).

8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.

9. When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field of play by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds; if he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on that side.

10. The umpire shall be judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.

11. The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made, and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.

12. The time shall be two 15-minute halves, with five minutes’ rest between.

13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In case of a draw, the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made.

Note: Basketball was originally two words and these original rules were published January 15, 1892 in the Springfield College school newspaper, The Triangle.

Items of note:

There was originally a referee and an umpire?

Dribbling isn’t mentioned, not that I see. Traveling with the ball is not allowed, so I guess, if you wanted to move down the court, you had to hand off the ball?

The word “batted”. It has such a gentle tone. I like imagining Michael Jordan lightly batting the ball to a teammate or into the basket.

And speaking of which: Did you notice “into the basket and stays there”?

Yep. It was called basketball (or, actually, basket ball), because the first hoops were baskets. Exhibit A if it please the court, a picture of the esteemed inventor himself, Dr. Naismith, with a ball and basket:

Basketball: James Naismith

“Then, yes, smart aleck, someone does have to fetch the ball after every goal. That someone will not be me. I am the one with the doctorate, I did the thinking and the rule-writing.”

 

I do believe, if I am a good Southerner, that is an apple or peach-picking basket. May I forget the sound of a fiddle if I’m wrong.

Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts: The Story of Basketball

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: hoophall.com

Oh–the featured image? That’s a photo I took at the NCSU (North Carolina State, my alma mater) v. Carolina (UNC) game on my 30th birthday, post-game. What’s happening in the picture is a NCSU tradition: win or lose, the State cheerleaders and dance team stand together mid-court and sing the school alma mater (which, yes, has the word “Dixie” in it, I am Southern, y’all.).

And, yes, I went to a basketball game on my 30th birthday party. What?

Here’s the full image:

Basketball: NCSU

Oh, and we won.

 

Coach Jim Valvano, who was the NCSU basketball coach when I was at State, once said that basketball, when played by those who truly have a love for it, is as graceful and beautiful as ballet. I agree. To prove us correct, I share with you this image of Larry Nance, of the Phoenix Suns, that I screencapped from Pinterest. I screencapped it because I loved the excitement of the original poster’s caption:

larrynance

Yes, that is a vertical leap. Look at those leg muscles. You could study anatomy off his arm and leg muscles.

 

For further enjoyment, look at the faces of the kids sitting court-side. I love it.

And if Coach V’s name sounds familiar to you, it should. He not only coached the Cardiac Pack in 1983, the year the NCSU Wolfpack won both the ACC and the NCAA championships, he coached State for ten years with a 209-114 record. Coach V’s full record was 346-210 in 19 seasons as an NCAA head coach. He appeared in eight NCAA Tournaments and twice voted ACC Coach of the Year. He received the first Arthur Ashe Award for Courage in 1993 and, in accepting the award, announced the foundation, with ESPN, of The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

There’s so much more to tell, about really early women’s teams (yes!) and how college and professional teams are governed, and the Harlem Globetrotters, who deserve their own Smollop, at least, but I will end here, for now, with Coach V’s Arthur Ashe Courage speech, because it is one of those videos that makes me laugh and cry, and laugh-cry. I am blessed to have been a student under him, to have been able to walk the campus, pass him by, yell “Hey, Coach V!” and always, always get a wave if there was a crowd, a shoulder or backpack pat if he were close enough. It only happened a few times (huge campus) but it was splendiferous just the same. We were all his Pack, every one. And that’s what basketball’s supposed to be.

(And, no, I cannot play worth a damn.)

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