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- The first game similar to basketball may have been started by ancient civilizations. The Aztec and Mayan cultures also had a game similar to basketball, only instead they used the skulls. The first true basketball game as we know it was on January 20th, 1892 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Canadian Doctor James Naismith invented the game for the YMCA to play during the winter months. Naismith wrote simple rules for the game and most of the rules are still in place today. Teams had nine players, and the goals were wooden peach baskets fixed to the walls. The game quickly spread worldwide, played by both women and men.
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