Sport Focus: 12 Things You Didn't Know About Basketball

February 11, 2020

Despite being on the Commonwealth Games programme only twice to date, Basketball has come closest of any team sport to winning a medal for Team Scotland with 4th place at Gold Coast 2018. As our Sport Focus comes to a close, here are 12 things you might not know about the sport and its history at the Games:

  1. Basketball is one of several optional sports at the Commonwealth Games. This means the host country can choose to add it to the programme if they wish.


  1. Gold Coast 2018 is only the second time that basketball has featured at the Commonwealth Games. At these games, Gareth Murray became the first athlete to represent Team Scotland in basketball at two Commonwealth Games.


  1. Wheelchair basketball was first played in the USA when basketball players injured during World War II adapted the game in order to continue their enjoyment and be able to participate in a team sport.


  1. At Gold Coast 2018, Callan Low became the youngest basketball player ever to take to the court for Team Scotland at a Commonwealth Games at the age of 17.


  1. Basketball was not originally played using the basketball we know today. The game used a football until 1929.
  1. Former Scotland captain and Team GB Olympian, Kieron Achara, has a passion for playing Lawn Bowls and, had his dream of becoming a basketball player failed, he would have pursued bowls further.


  1. Basketball has Scottish roots! In 1891, Dr James Naismith created the sport. Naismith was the son of Scottish parents and first created the game in Springfield, Massachusetts.


  1. The 24 second shot clock was created by Danny Biasone in 1954. It was created as a way to stop the winning team from holding the ball for minutes at a time, aiming to stop the other team scoring so that they could keep their lead , resulting in fans getting bored of the slow paced game. Both Leo Ferris and Biasone experimented with a 24-second shot clock during a scrimmage one day to try and tackle the issue, and to speed up the game – it worked!


  1. Team Scotland finished 6th in Men’s Basketball at Melbourne 2006, and narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Games where they finished 4th. This was the best Scottish result for any team sport at the Commonwealth Games.


  1. Robert Archibald was Scotland’s first and only player so far to ever play for the NBA. He started out at local club Dunfermline Reign, before becoming the third pick in the second round 2002 NBA Draft. He went on to play a total of 44 games over two years with the Memphis Grizzles, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors. He also represented Great Britain 46 times, including at the 2012 Olympics in London.


  1. At Melbourne 2006, the medal winning nations were identical in both the men’s and women’s competition – with hosts Australia taking gold, New Zealand silver and England with bronze.


  1. Basketball will feature a new format at the 2022 Games in Birmingham, with 3v3 and Wheelchair 3v3 making its Commonwealth Games debut.

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