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Basketball: From humble beginnings, hoops celebrates 125th birthday

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A game drawn up to occupy some bored boys as winter approached at a Massachusetts gymnasium celebrates its 125th anniversary on Wednesday and basketball's status as the world's second most popular sport.

Basketball began on Dec 21, 1891 at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) gym in Springfield with rules made up by Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith.

Naismith recalled the sport's primitive beginnings in a New York radio interview in 1939.

“I called the boys to the gym, divided them up into teams of nine and gave them a little soccer ball,” he said.

“I showed them two peach baskets I’d nailed up at each end of the gym (about 10 feet above the floor), and I told them the idea was to throw the ball into the opposing team’s peach basket.

"I blew the whistle, and the first game of basketball began.”

Running with the ball was not allowed, only passing or directing it with the hand toward a team mate or the basket. Dribbling and other developments came over time.

Wow, it's hard to imagine basketball without dribbling.

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