Have you ever tasted a sweet peach picked fresh off of a tree?

Once upon a fleeting time in 1891, James Naismith made up a new game to play. He was a P.E. Instructor at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts and was trying to keep his class active inside during the cold winter.  James wrote down the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto an elevated track inside the gymnasium. The new game was called basket-ball. 

Peach baskets were soon replaced with metal hoops. The brown, round ball used for the game had laces on it to close off the hole needed for filling the inside with air.  In 1950, basketball coach, Tony Hinkle, introduced the orange ball that is used today so players and spectators can see it better. 

Mr. Naismith’s game of basketball became a sport played in colleges and is now an international sport! The University of Colorado was one of the early colleges that participated. 

Here is how the game is played. 

Two teams of 5 players compete with each other on a rectangular basketball court. The players throw the ball into a hoop attached to a backboard while preventing the opposing team from throwing balls into their hoop. This is called shooting baskets. Two points are made for each successful shot unless made behind the three-point line. 

The ball must stay within the court. The players can pass the ball to a teammate, roll the ball, or bounce it while walking or running which is called dribbling.  But more than one bounce is called double dribbling and that is against the rules. When rules are broken, it is called a foul or violation. A referee judges whether a play is illegal.  

A game is divided into 4, twelve minute quarters plus a 15 minute halftime to rest. But the game clock stops frequently due to the referee calling out players so a game usually lasts about 2 hours.  

The National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States, is the most popular league. It is divided into two conferences, the Western and the Eastern.  The Denver Nuggets compete in the Western Conference of the NBA and is owned by Stan & Ann Walton Kroenke. Ann’s father was Sam Walton, who founded Walmart.

The original team was formed in 1935 and they were called the Denver Safeway Piggly Wigglys. The Denver Nuggets were the first NBA team formed West of the Mississippi River. What do you think the word Nuggets stands for? 

The team colors are navy blue, yellow, maroon, and royal blue and games are played at the Pepsi Center in Denver. In 1982, the Denver Nuggets set the league scoring record for the highest points averaging 126 points per game!

There is a Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts where the first game was played. Senda Berenson Abbott is honored there as she pioneered women’s basketball and authored the first Basketball Guide for Women. Exceptional players and coaches of the Denver Nuggets are in the Basketball Hall of Fame including Bobby Jones, Charlie Scott, George McGinnis, Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo, Spencer Haywood, Sarunas Marciuliois, Alex Hannum, John McLendon, and Larry Brown.

Learn more about the Denver Nuggets on Wikipedia