Originally invented as a way of keeping students busy during the cold winter months, basketball was invented by James Naismith in 1891. The first game was played by shooting a ball into a peach basket nailed to a railing, and the ball had to be retrieved with a long dowel after each successful shot. Fast-forward through the decades and names like Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, and LeBron are almost immortal. Basketball is one of the most entertaining, challenging, and exciting sports in the world. You can learn the basic rules and the fundamental skills necessary to play.