|Competitions held||32 (Venues)|
Basketball is one of the few sports for which the precise origin is known. The game was invented in 1891 by James W. Naismith, an instructor at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, now Springfield College. The game was originally played with peach baskets, and an attendant on a ladder retrieved the ball after a made basket. Naismith formulated 13 rules of the game, of which 12 still form the basics of the modern game.
In 1936, basketball made its first appearance as a medal sport at the Olympics. In 1976, women’s basketball was added to the program. The United States has dominated international basketball. The USA won all the Olympic titles until 1972, when it was upset by the Soviet Union in a very controversial game. The Soviet women were originally the top team on the female side, but the USA women have surpassed them, winning the gold medal in 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020.
Today, basketball has become one of the most popular sports in the world. US college basketball is very popular in the United States, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) has engendered international interest. In addition, numerous international leagues have added to the growth of the sport. In 1992, for the first time, the United States was allowed to use professional players from the NBA. This NBA All-Star Team, dubbed “The Dream Team” by the world’s media, is certainly the greatest basketball team ever assembled and dominated the 1992 Olympic tournament.
An NBA All-Star team also represented the United States in 1996 and 2000, winning those gold medals as well, though the margin between the NBA and the rest of the world was shrinking. In 2004, despite using NBA players, the United States men won only a bronze medal. In 2008, the United States team again won the gold medal, after instituting a program to restore the USA to international prominence under the tutelage of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, and they repeated in 2012 and 2016, with Krzyzewski at the helm. The team won again at Tokyo 2020, with NBA’s San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in charge.
Basketball is governed worldwide by the Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball (FIBA), formerly known as the Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball Amateur, that was founded on 18 June 1932 in Geneva, Switzerland, with eight founding members: Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland. As a measure of its popularity, FIBA currently (2022) has 211 member nations.
Two American women – Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi – have won five Olympic basketball gold medals. Teresa Edwards is next on the table, with four golds and one bronze medal. Three men have won four medals: American Carmelo Anthony and Soviets Sergey Belov and Gennady Volnov. Carmelo Anthony and fellow compatriot Kevin Durant are the only men basketballers with three gold medals.
|People's Republic of China||CHN||0||1||1||2|
|Republic of Korea||KOR||0||1||0||1|
|Serbia and Montenegro||SCG||0||1||0||1|
|Name||Gender||Still contested?||Times held?|