As the sport was only created at end of the 19th century in the US. Dr James Naismith invented basketball in December 1891 as an indoor game to keep YMCA students fit during the winter months at Springfield College in Massachusetts.
Basketball swiftly spread through YMCA organizations across the US, where it made an early appearance at the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport at St. Louis in 1904.
In 1924 Basketball was a demonstration sport at the Olympic. Basketball became a full Olympic sport for men in 1936 and for women in 1976.
There was renewed interest at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, when professional players were allowed for the first time.
In the US, basketball took off as a big-money professional sport with the founding of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1946.
The US fielded the so-called Dream Team of highly paid NBA stars, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, winning games by record margins.
The other major International tournaments are World Championships for men, women, junior men (under 19 year olds) and women (Under 19 year olds). There are European Championships for senior, junior. There are similar programmes of championships in other parts of the world. For international purposes the world is divided into the following zones.
(Europe North America Asia Central America Africa South America Oceania)