Basketball is now over a century old. Cages to Jump Shots offers an unforgettable glimpse of its exciting and eccentric early years, beginning in 1891 when James Naismith drew up the first rules, through decades of growing popularity and professionalism, and culminating with its fundamental transformation in the 1950s, when the twenty-four-second shot clock and team foul limit were instituted. Along the way we learn about all those who were drawn to the game—players, officials, owners, and fans—and why so many came to love it.
Drawing on extensive research and a host of interviews with veteran players, Robert W. Peterson vividly recreates the rough-and-tumble basketball games of long ago and shows why basketball has become such a celebrated part of American life today. This Bison Books edition features an updated appendix of early pro basketball teams.
Robert W. Peterson is the author of Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams and Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football.
"Essential reading for sports fans."—Library Journal
"Even those who are not fans of the sport will delight in Peterson's accounts of early games featuring 40 players on each side and the wild fights to recover out-of-bounds balls which led to the setting up of wire or rope cages all around the court. The book offers sidelights on the game as it developed: the gradually increasing importance of players' height, . . . the influx of Jewish players during the Depression years, and the rise of the Harlem Globetrotters to counter Jim Crow on the courts."—Publishers Weekly