Fascinating and Fun Facts About Basketball!

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Mar 162015

Fascinating and Fun Facts About Basketball

I just love basketball trivia.  For some reason, the silly unimportant little facts are amazing to me.  Perhaps it’s because I love the sport so much that these little things matter.

Going back to the beginning, a doctor invented the first basketball.  Right after that, a YMCA teacher by the name of James Naismith invented the game in 1891.  He had grown up in Canada playing a makeshift basketball game by nailing up a peach basket to use for a hoop.

Basketball was initiated into the Summer Olympics in 1936.  They debuted in Berlin, Germany.  It wasn’t until 1940 that the first game aired on television though.

At first there were two leagues in the sport, the National Basketball League and the Basketball Association.  They merged in 1949 and became the National Basketball Association, or NBA.

Who has won the most NBA championships?  The Boston Celtics, of course.  In fact, they won seven straight ones.  A total of 26 teams entered which made it the largest number of team sport players in one even.

Check this out.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the current record to date for the most career points scored in basketball.  He topped out at a total of 38,387 points.  Speaking of points, it was a great day in history when the legendary Wilt Chamberlain scored a round 100 points in a single game.  That remains the most points to be scored in one game.

On March 2, 1962, Philadelphia center Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in one game against New York. That is the most one player has ever scored in one game.

How did the three-pointer come to be?  It was actually an idea that was taken from the ABA and was put into play in 1980.  Believe it or not it was the Garrett Falcons Varsity Boys team that maxed the three-point shots in one game.  They had 32 shots total and it all took place in 1998.

USA has won 13 Olympic basketball games.  They have presided in gold medals at the games too.

It was in Dallas, Texas on Valentine’s day in 2010 when the largest crowd ever assembled to watch a single game with 108, 713 looking on as the NBA All-Star game took place.

If you have ever been to a game you thought would never end, get this…in 2010 in Hungary, one game lasted for 107 hours.  There was not one single rest or break that took place the entire time.

Records aren’t always set by professional teams or professional players.  Elan Buller who attended Campbell Hall Elementary School made the longest shot ever, a total distance of 104 feet.  That happened in 2011.  He never went on to play professionally but does teach P.E. at that same elementary.

I just love basketball trivia.  I could read the fun facts all day and never tire of it in the least.  It’s just silly little things that mean nothing at all…but to some of us die-hard basketball enthusiasts, they mean…everything.

 Posted by at 1:01 pm

What it Takes To Live the Basketball Life: Everything and Then Some

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Feb 162015

What does it take to be great in the sport of basketball?  More than you may ever know!

Basketball is one of those sports that can look really easy when you are just watching.  Unless you have ever played, you may not realized just how much concentration, preparation and determination it takes.  And physical strength…just running up and down the court is enough to wear even the best fit athlete out.

First things first.  If you are going to play, even in middle or high school, you will have to make the grade.  You will be held accountable to keep your school grades high enough in order to make and stay on the team.  College is no exception.  Gone are the days, for the most part, where athletes got passed just because they were athletes.

Next up, you will need to be a team player.  You are only as good as the worst player on your team.  If you cannot get along with other and cannot work to help make them the best they can be, you are not a valuable player for your team.  Basketball is a team sport and you must be a team player.

You will also have to be teachable.  There will be coaches and managers and even other players who will be instructing you.  You have to listen to others and have a great attitude about it in order to make it as a basketball player.

Dedication is another key factor.  You will have monotonous practices and it will be tempting to skip them at times.  There will be days you don’t want to play or perhaps you really are under the weather.  That’s when you have to suck it up and do it anyway.

Being competitive helps to set your sites to do what it takes to win.  If you don’t care if you and your team win or not, you are going to be hard-pressed to find enough reason to give what it takes to succeed in the sport.

Another very important thing in the game of basketball is that you will have to make sacrifices and lots of them.  Especially if you go on to pro basketball, the things you will have to give up are endless.  You may have to relocate, spend time away from your family and a long list of hardships.  It’s all chalked up to dedication and giving all you have and that means…everything.

There are so many things aside from just the physical that basketball will require of you.  It will push you to your personal limits mentally and emotionally and even spiritually.  And, something many don’t consider is if you do make it big and you make the big bucks, can you handle yourself and your money.  There have been countless athletes who could not.  They end up in deep depression or down and out with drug and alcohol problems.  Some have even gotten lost in gambling and other evils that having lots of cash can bring.

But if you find that you are made of what it takes to make it in basketball, congratulations.  It’s a wonderful, wonderful world!

 Posted by at 1:00 pm

My Account of the Greatest Basketball Moments Ever!

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Jan 302015

Greatest Basketball Moments

If you are a basketball player, or perhaps an avid basketball fan, what moments in basketball do you find to be the all-time greatest?

Aside from those that I have personally experienced, I have a bucketful of greatest moments I can pull from the hat.

I guess I’m a sucker for the “olden days”.  Of course I wasn’t there to witness this firsthand, but I love to hear and read about Howie Dallmar way back in the 1940’s.  He was a great assist, with over 100 under his belt but the play of the day was when he was injured and talked his way back onto the court despite his feet ailments.

Dallmar went in and scored the two points that won the game but only after the ball had bounced around from the outside about four times, leaving everyone on the edge of their seats.  He and his teammates were awarded $2,000 and a diamond chip ring.  The fans left with a memory never to be forgotten.

You can’t talk about great basketball historical moments without talking about the inventor of basketball, Naismith.  He had grown up in Canada where they nailed a peach basket up for the make-shift basket.  I can just see it clear as a bell in my mind.  He then went on to play for the University of Kansas and then coached Kansas for a whopping 771 wins.  Now, that’s peachy!

Another great moment in basketball history was when Wilt Chamberlain was at his peak.  In 1962, on March 2, he racked up a round 100 points in a single game for a win of 169-147 over the Philadelphia Warriors.  That was the NBA record for single-game scoring and the fans were thrilled.

I also like the one, back in the 70’s when Jerry West of the Lakers threw a 60-foot sinker.  The fans stood to their feet and you can only imagine how excited the team was as well.  It was a nail-biting game and the long throw made it all the more suspenseful.

It was those great plays and many others as well that infatuated me as a youngster.  I had the pictures embedded in my imagination of Wilt, standing at 7’1”, playing for the Globetrotters or Bill Russell with his 11 championship rings.  They were the best of the best and the games were the best too, in my book at least.

What about Buddy Jeannette, one of the National Basketball League’s first players back between 1938 and 1948.  You could count on excitement wherever Jeannette played and so it was with so many of that generation of players.  I just can’t get enough!

There have been tons of present day great plays and I have personally been there to witness a number of them.  But there is something about the days of old in basketball that just entrances me.  It’s an undying romance I have with those who played the courts before me whose shoes I could never fill.

 Posted by at 12:58 pm

Basketball…It’s THAT Great!

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Jan 232015

Basketbal It’s THAT Great!

Basketball…it’s the greatest sport in America!  Why?  Let me name the reasons!

First off, the basketball itself was invented by a doctor, Dr. James Naismith.  That, to me, is pretty astounding right there.  It happened way back in the late 1800’s.  The game came about right away and the rest is history.

You’ve got to give it to basketball, it’s not a real dangerous sport.  While accidents can happen, they are far less likely to than in football, ice hockey and some of the more physically aggressive games. Don’t get me wrong, it takes a tough guy to play basketball.  But, in my opinion, professional basketball players make it to retirement with less serious injuries.

Plus, you can play it in any kind of weather.  Rain, snow, sleet or shine, basketball is generally played in the comfort of an indoor court.  Of course it can be played outside too which is just icing on the cake.  If it’s a nice day and you want to enjoy some fresh air, catch a court and hoop it up!

Basketball has to be great.  It has been an Olympic sport since 1936 and has been an organized national sport since 1949.  It is a multi-billion dollar industry to date and has millions of fans beside.

So often, when a basketball player is telling his story, you will hear how he was saved from a life of violence, crime and drugs by his love for the sport.  The game helps youth detour from taking the wrong road so many times.  Why?  It not only gives them something they love to do, it offers exercise, socialization, a feeling of satisfaction and self-worth and so many other positive benefits.

Basketball is a game of skill.  It takes personal strength, focus and coordination.  It takes determination and dedication.  But, it is a game that can be learned.  It is not a respecter of persons in that although it helps to be tall and quick, you don’t have to be.

Avery “Little General” Johnson was one of the shortest pro players ever.  Standing at 5’10” tall, he had an outstanding 16 year career and went on to help coach the Dallas Mavericks.  There have been many pro basketball players that were only 5’7” like Anthony Webb and Asian NBA player, WataruMisaka.

Basketball isn’t difficult to learn.  Even fans can easily keep up with a game.  The scoring is a cinch as are the rules and regulations.  I remember hearing an older woman say that she used to go to high school and college football games all the time to watch her boys play but she never knew how the game was played.  “I just watched the cheerleaders and hollered when they did,” she said.  “But basketball, I know.”

I guess the thing I love most about basketball is that it is addicting.  It gets in your blood and becomes your life.  It’s not illegal and doesn’t require a 12-step program but it’s so good…maybe it should!

 Posted by at 9:52 pm

The Gift and The Giver

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Jan 152015

Mike Miller, a professional basketball player in the NBA

My fans know that I am big into charity.  I am all about giving!  Paying it Forward is not only good for the person or persons you are blessing, it’s good for the soul too.

When’s the last time you gave without the person you gave to knowing who he or she was blessed by?  I remember years ago, I took some advice on personal betterment.  One day my assignment was to do random acts of kindness for people…anonymously.  The key word is…anonymously.  Believe it or not, that really helps knock our pride aside.  It just keeps us honest and it also assures that the person you are giving to does not feel indebted to you in any form or fashion.

Charitable organizations are a great way to give.  They also allow the giver to remain anonymous.  The problem with giving through an organization is that sometimes, too many people have their hands in the cookie jar.  That’s why it’s important to do your homework and to know just how much of the proceeds to the cause you are supporting.  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one that I found to be upstanding.  You are sure to find those that you feel comfortable with as well.

You can chose to give as an individual too.  You can directly or indirectly give to the person or group.  And don’t think that all you can give is money.  That is far from the truth.  You can give of your time or bless someone with a personal gift like for me, I like to give game tickets, autographs and things like that.  You really can’t go wrong when it comes to giving, especially when it’s done anonymously.

One of the most rewarding things I do is to host a charity event for a cause or organization.  That can be a sports-related event, a banquet or dinner, a car wash or a number of things.  Raffles are another great way to drum up funds.  If you are gifted with organizational skills or are good with the public, this will be right up your alley.  If not, you can easily incorporate the help of others who are.  You will be surprised how many people may donate their time and skills to help you help.

Having a name for yourself, like I am blessed to have, helps get people to participate in fund raisers you may want to throw.  If you are not a sports star, celebrity or famous person, try to round up someone who is.  Again, you may be surprised who is willing to help when it comes to charitable events.

Helping others definitely helps you.  Chalk it up as karma or back it up with Bible scripture, it is true that the best way to help yourself is to help others.  Does it mean everything will be peaches and cream if you do so?  Definitely not!  At the same time I was raising money for some great organizations (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital being one of them), I was released from Miami.  It might have been easy to wonder why negative came my way when I was doing such a positive thing.  I had to examine my heart and to resolve that I am not giving for any motive and expecting good in return for good is…a motive.  It wasn’t a pleasant thing but I was able to personally grow from the experience.

As Maya Angelou put it so eloquently, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”  Maybe that is why it is said that it is better to give than to receive.

 Posted by at 9:50 pm