Ever want to impress some basketball fans with your obscure knowledge? Or perhaps you might want to win a bar bet by knowing the name of the first person to score a basket in the NBA. Here are a few little known basketball facts and significant firsts in basketball history.
Who was the first person to hit a three point basket? Here’s a clue, he played for the Celtics in 1979, but it was not the legendary Larry Bird, but seldom used guard Chris Ford. On October 12th, 1979 Chris Ford inaugurated the three point line at the Boston Garden against the Houston Rockets.
The Tallest players to play in the NBA were the seven foot – seven inch monsters Gheorge Muresan and Manute Bol. What many do not know is that the tallest player ever drafted was seven foot – eight inch Yasutaka Okayama of Kumamoto Prefectur, Japan, taken with the tenth pick in the eighth round of the 1981 by the Golden State Warriors. Had Okayama stepped on the court he would have been the tallest player ever, but the giant only took up basketball at the age of 18 and never showed much skill on the court.
While the WNBA started league play in 1997, but it was during the civil rights movement that the then San Francisco Warriors drafted Denis Long with 13th pick in 1969, a more symbolic draft choice than legitimate choice, but the NBA immediately rescinded the pick. The official record books of the NBA consider Lucy Harris, drafted in the seventh round by the New Orleans Jazz, as the first woman ever drafted by an NBA team.
On November 1st, 1946 the inaugural NBA was played between the New York Knickerbockers and the Toronto Huskies. It was a little Jewish guard by name of Ozzie Schectman who scored the first bucket on a two handed scoop shot. Schectman would leave the league after his first and only year, placing third in the league in assists with 2.0 assists per game.
While Ozzie Schectman may have scored the first bucket in the modern day National Basketball Association, but the first professional game played occurred over 50 years ago. On November 7th, 1896 the Brooklyn YMCA traveled to New Jersey to play the Trenton YMCA for the first professional game of basketball. The Trenton YMCA would go on to win the game 15-1 for the first victory in a professional basketball game. Some argue that the Olmecs played the true first basketball game, although their sport involved tossing a skull of one of their enemies into a stone hoop.