A Court Used for Playing Hoops Since 1893. Where? Paris.

Regardless, the court could use an expensive makeover.

“My dream will be to find the money to see This kind of as This kind of was before,” Manac’h said.


Sylvie Manac’h, the director of the Y.M.C.A. in Paris, said the organization had considered some type of event to raise the money required for a renovation of the gym. This kind of has considered inviting the Harlem Globetrotters to help publicize its needs.

Dmitry Kostyukov for The completely new York Times


Old photos of the gym in Paris. The French Basketball Federation has held promotional events in addition to also news conferences there. Givenchy photographed types inside space for its 2012 spring couture line.

Dmitry Kostyukov for The completely new York Times

Unlike some additional major sports, basketball includes a neatly traceable origin story. The first game was played on Dec. 21, 1891, after Naismith, a Canadian physical education instructor working in addition to also studying in Springfield, devised a completely new activity to occupy his restless students inside winter months. The contest, which took place at a Y.M.C.A. gymnasium almost identical to the one in Paris, involved 18 people, two peach baskets in addition to also a soccer ball.

Naismith hung the baskets 10 feet above the ground simply because that will was the height of the running platform overhead — the same setup still visible in Paris today.

Within a matter of years, Y.M.C.A. members had carried the rules of the game as far as China, according to Matt Zeysing, a historian in addition to also curator at the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“This kind of was one of America’s great exports,” Zeysing said.


A plaque inside the gym indicates its historical significance. The building that will houses This kind of has been protected as a historical landmark since 1994.

Pete Kiehart for The completely new York Times

The quick in addition to also purposeful dissemination of basketball through the Y.M.C.A. system reflected the emergence inside late 19th century of “muscular Christianity,” a religious movement that will linked physical health in addition to also manliness to spiritual well-being.

The Y.M.C.A. in Paris was the game’s very first landing spot in Europe — a slice of American life transplanted to France, according to Christelle Bertho, an architect in Paris who has studied the entire facility extensively. Bertho said multiuse buildings, which the Y.M.C.A. helped pioneer inside United States, were unheard-of in France at the time. The completely new building also featured the first American-style bowling alley in addition to also indoor swimming pool in France.

James Stokes, a millionaire philanthropist by completely new York with deep ties to the Y.M.C.A., financed in addition to also conceptualized the building project. The organization hired the French architect Émile Bénard, who traveled to America to study Y.M.C.A. buildings for guidance, in addition to also had all the building materials for the gym shipped by the United States.

When the building was completed, an American named Melvin B. Rideout became its first athletic director, bringing basketball with him to Paris in addition to also practicing in what was essentially a contemporary replica of the Springfield gym where the game was created.

“We actually need American people to become interested in This kind of building,” Bertho said. “This kind of’s their history. This kind of’s a mixed French in addition to also American building, yet This kind of’s mostly American, in addition to also Americans don’t know about This kind of.”

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Source : A Court Used for Playing Hoops Since 1893. Where? Paris.

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