Happy 125th birthday, basketball! Anniversary celebrated in Springfield

Rules of basketball first published on this day in 1891

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Basketball Hall of Fame is a great place to celebrate your birthday. But on Wednesday, it’s was the game of basketball itself that marked a milestone. 125 years ago that, on the corner of State and Sherman Streets in Springfield, the game of basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith. The Hall of Fame is named after him.

Dozens of students from the Boland Elementary School joined Mayor Domenic Sarno, Congressman Richie Neal and other dignitaries on Wednesday to celebrate the game that quickly evolved into an international Olympic sport.

Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva told 22News that Dr. Naismith was a humble man who would have loved to see so many young kids excited about the sport. When the game started, it was just Dr. Naismith “with his 18 gym members that were playing the game,” Dolvea explained. “Then it translated quickly up to Smith College where women were playing the game. And then three years later it was in China.”

Doleva also said there are big plans for the future of basketball and for the Hall of Fame itself. They’ve raised more than $20 million and plan to open two new areas of the Hall of Fame in 2018 and 2020.

After the mayor and congressman read a book to the kids about the invention of basketball, they all got to cut a celebratory cake and eat cupcakes that were made by TV’s the Cake Boss himself, Buddy Valastro.