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Basketball is more than 130 years old and has enjoyed a remarkable array of athletic talents from early
20th-century standout James "Pappy" Ricks to contemporary classic Michael Jordan. Fans of the sport find
excitement for basketball players' autographs as a means to commemorate significant games, seasons, and
even entire careers.
Created by ambitious gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, basketball was first
played in late 1891. Naismith first designed the sport as a way to keep athletes in shape during the long
winter months, but its popularity as a team event grew exponentially. Within months, basketball became an
international sport with the first professional leagues formed in 1898. College teams also sprouted across
the country, contributing to an overall basketball frenzy.
The establishment of the National Basketball Association in the late '40s created the first substantial
league of teams. It also ushered in a new era of merchandising and accordingly, signed memorabilia. The
tradition of getting a favorite basketball player's signature is still alive and well in many arenas. Vintage
autographs also cause quite a clamor on the auction block.
Basketball was promoted by Naismith by guaranteeing fewer injuries than football
The first European basketball game was held in Paris in 1893
A Dream Team basketball featuring the signatures of the 1992 US Men's Olympic Basketball Team,
which including Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, sold at auction in 2015 for $230,041