Cross Currents Home
Resources | About Us | 日本語サイト
Home Learn About Japan Learn About Japan-U.S. Cross Currents Learn About the U.S.

A basketball, just at the moment before it enters the hoop.
Sports Year
  1. Fishing
  2. High School Sports
  3. Hunting season
  4. American Football
  5. Basketball
  6. Stockcar Racing
  7. Baseball
Listen in English | Japanese Japanese View Article in English | Japanese
Player dribbling against an opponent
Boys practice their skills during a game at a basketball camp.
Photo Courtesy of Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois,
The game of basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, a Canadian minister living in the state of Massachusetts. The game became an instant hit. By the 1920s, hundreds of towns and cities across the United States were home to professional basketball teams. In 1946 the National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed, bringing together the best professional teams in the country to play in a single league. This furthered the popularity of professional basketball even more. In the 1960s a rival basketball league, the American Basketball Association (ABA), was established. The two leagues eventually merged in 1975 under the NBA name. Basketball became an Olympic sport in 1936. Since then the United States has won the gold medal in basketball all but 4 times. But as basketball grows and develops as an international sport, American dominance is declining. American NBA players were soundly beaten in the world championships in 2002. In 2004 the American Olympic team, also composed of NBA stars, could do no better than the bronze medal. In 1976 the Olympics added women’s basketball. In 1984 the American women’s basketball team won its first Olympic gold medal. And in 1997, the NBA-supported Women’s National Basketball League began play.
Download Podcast in English | Japanese
Document | Audio-Video | Chart | Picture | Map