From Humble Beginnings at the YMCA, Basketball Has Taken Canada By Storm
In 1891, while working at the YMCA, Canadian-born James Naismith set out to create a new recreational activity to keep YMCA members active during the winter months. Naismith secured two peach baskets on opposing sides of the gym’s balcony, grabbed a seasoned soccer ball and rallied 18 young men to play his new sport, basketball.
Fast forward to 2019 and the Canadian basketball scene has reached unprecedented levels of popularity, largely thanks to the Toronto Raptors outstanding NBA playoff run which led them to win the NBA Championships over the Golden State Warriors. For the first time in history the Raptors brought the championship home to Canada, and to say Canadians are proud would be an understatement. Raptors fever has ignited the country, and while basketball is not our national sport, it sure feels like it right now.
— YMCA of Niagara (@YMCANiagara) June 18, 2019
We spotted Kawhi Leonard in Niagara Falls and, based on the over 1100 interactions with our tweet, fans can’t get enough of him! Check out the TSN Bar Down Article here.
128 years ago basketball was invented by a Canadian and the first ever game was played at a YMCA. Tonight, for the first time in history, we witness the first NBA championship game to take place on Canadian soil. Go Raptors! #WeTheNorth #RaptorsvsWarriors #GoRaptors pic.twitter.com/4k6C0EbToz
— YMCA of Niagara (@YMCANiagara) May 30, 2019
On any given night, drop into any YMCA across Canada and you’re bound to find aspiring young basketball players rallying a game of pick-up while donning their favourite player’s jersey; Leonard, Lowry, VanVleet, Siakam, Ibaka, Gasol, Green & many more. Many basketball stars have started their journey at YMCAs in Canada, consider Toronto Raptors Chris Boucher who played ball at the YMCA in Montreal while he was a dishwasher or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from the LA Clippers who regularly graced the YMCA in Hamilton.
Basketball will always hold a special place in our hearts at the YMCA and we are committed to helping youth develop basketball skills so they may one day pursue their dreams of being in the NBA. Whether you’re looking for some pick-up court time or development programs your local YMCA has got you covered. YMCAs in Niagara offer a variety of basketball programming for all ages. By signing your child up for basketball lessons with the YMCA, you’re giving them the opportunity to get involved in their communities, develop their team-building skills, strengthen their basketball game, all while making new friends in a safe environment.
To learn more about the basketball programs at your local YMCA please visit the links below.
Check out the NBA Commissioner paying homage to James Naismith from the YMCA for inventing basketball!