Bet on Basketball

Basketball is an enormously popular sport and comprehensive coverage of NBA basketball games, 1st tier Euroleague and 2nd Tier Eurocup are the norm for online bookmakers. Euroleague in 2015 is the second most valuable basketball property in the world after the NBA in North America and it continues to grow.

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Brief History of the Basketball Game

In view of the fact that Basketball is an intrinsic part of the North American culture it isn’t surprising to hear that the game was created in the USA and spread to Europe shortly after that. It was the Canadian Physical Education teacher, Dr James Naismith who invented the game and made up the rules which haven’t changed much since the first game was played in Springfield Massachusetts in 1896 at the local YMCA Centre.

The aim of the PE instructor was to provide a physically demanding game to occupy the young men attending the centre during cold winter months when outdoor sports such as football and lacrosse were not viable. Nine men were allocated to each team and due to a lack of money a football was used to play the game which after 30 minutes gave a result of 1-0 showing just how alien the concept was of throwing a ball into a hoop from a specified distance.

It certainly didn’t take long for the game to be adopted in many more YMCA centres posing a fabulous challenge to young men who were quick to hone their skills. The ‘rough’ nature of the game at the time led to the YMCA centres banning the game after about 10 years but the ‘genie was out of the bottle’ and the game was adopted by amateur groups forming Basketball Leagues within the existing Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association.


The Inter-allied Games were a Driving Force

By 1896, the game had expanded to professional leagues and several non league professional teams touring the USA playing local teams for money.

The game was taken to Europe during the First World War with troops playing in France with the allied forces as a way to take time out from the horrors of war. In 1919, the Inter-allied games were hosted in France and the first important international Basketball event was staged with the USA beating Italy and France.


The Game Evolves to New ‘Heights’

Basketball remained a less popular sport than football in the USA until the formation of the National Basketball League in 1949 which saw the game gain new impetus. By 1951, black players were integrated into ‘all white’ teams bringing the power and athletic stature of the African American players to the game generally and creating far more lively games which were real crowd pullers.

The African American Harlem Globetrotters had been touring the USA and Europe since the 1920’s proving to be superb ambassadors for Basketball with their amazing skills. When the American Basketball Association merged with the NBA it brought with it a more aggressive and loose style of play that had been adopted by the ABA including jumping up and pushing the ball down into the basket from above and the three-point shot.

This ‘fine tuning’ made basketball a fluid, thrilling spectator sport and record numbers of people flocked to watch the players in action everywhere.


About FIBA

FIBA was formed in Geneva in 1932 creating the first international Basketball Federation with founding members Greece, Switzerland, Latvia, Romania, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Portugal and Italy. FIBA arranged for the game to be included in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games where the USA won the first Olympic title.

Argentina hosted the first World Championship in 1950 with the championship held every 4 years since then. In 2010 the competition name was changed to the FIBA World Cup and is the most important basketball competition for men in the world of international basketball.

Women players compete in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup also held every four years.


European Basketball is Big Business

Professional basketball all over Europe is controlled by the privately owned company headquartered in Barcelona, the Euroleague Basketball Company which was founded in the year 2000. The rankings of the national European teams are overseen by the company and it operates the top two professional Basketball Leagues on the European continent, the first-tier Euroleague and the second-tier Eurocup.

Thanks to the excellent organization of the Euroleague Basketball Company the 15 years since the top European professional basketball leagues broke away from the control of FIBA to come under the control of Euroleague Basketball, the game attracts a worldwide TV audience surpassing 2 billion people and 51 million viewers watched online in 2014.

Sponsorship money is pouring into the sport like never before with sponsorship up 1,750 % since the year 2000. 22,000 hours of basketball coverage is made available to basketball fans making it a fabulous business proposition for the sponsors that include BWIN, Citroen, Spalding, Intersport and Adidas in 2015.