Ever since the first players sunk the first hoops back over a century ago, basketball has been one of America's number one sports, and pro basketball players have been making sports history.
American pro basketball history can be traced to a game played in 1896 at the YMCA in Trenton, New jersey. This game was played as the result of a fallout dispute between members of the YMCA team and a YMCA official. The disillusioned players formed their own professional team and began to play for money.
As the league progressed into the twentieth century, the first two successful professional teams were the Buffalo Germans and the Original Celtics. The first major national professional league was the American Basketball League. The Harlem Globetrotters and the New York Renaissance, also known as the Rens, the most successful teams of the 1930s. Both of these teams were comprised entirely of black players. There were also women's basketball teams at this time, with the top women players being Nera White, Alline Banks Sprouse, and Babe Didrikson.
The undisputed leader of the period from 1963 to 1975 was the University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA won ten national championships in all, including seven in a row. Some historical pro basketball players of this UCLA team were centers Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, guard Gail Goodrich and forwards Marques Johnson and Jamaal Wilkes. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played an incredible twenty seasons in the NBA before retiring as the league's leading career scorer with 38, 387 points.Pablo Sandoval Home Jersey
Over the past forty years, sports reporters have been kept busy with historical pro basketball players in women's leagues as well. Rule changes in the 1960's brought the sport in sync with men's competitions. Dribbling became fully legal in 1966, and then in 1969 the five-player full-court format was introduced, a format that would become official in 1971. The Basketball Hall of Fame began to recognize the valuable contributions of women's basketball players in 1985, conducting woman players, coaches and contributors. Some of the first players to be honoured with Hall of Fame recognition were Carol Blazejowski, Anne Donovan, Nancy Lieberman-Cline, Ann Meyers and Cheryl Miller.Buster Posey Black Jersey
In the 1990s, the pro basketball spotlight belonged to Michael jordan as he led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. Other great players of the decade were Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson and John Stockton. Jennifer Azzi, Cynthia Cooper, Teresa Edwards, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes were some of this era's most important women players.Historical pro basketball players have been bringing excitement to fans and honour to teammates for more than a century. With the continued interest in pro basketball and sellout crowds across the league, there is no sign that the popularity of basketball is slowing down any time soon.