Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Basketball Court Design: Surfaces and Hoops 2

Posted on August 23, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse
Cameron Indoor Stadium is one of the most famous basketball venues in the world.

Cameron Indoor Stadium is one of the most famous basketball venues in the world.

The design of the modern basketball court goes back to the earliest days of basketball in the 1890s. In these formative years, the game was played in YMCA and school gymnasiums across the country – wooden floorboards and peach baskets nailed to the wall made up these first basketball courts. Though the baskets would be eventually replaced with a hoop and net, and outdoor basketball would be played on a variety of asphalt or tarmac services, the wooden surface inherited from those first gymnasiums persists to this day.

Surfaces
Maple boards are most commonly used in basketball court surfaces, prized for their consistency when dribbling and providing good grip characteristics for players. However, as a hardwood, it can be adversely affected by moisture and consequently maple boards must be laid to take into account the expansion of the wood over several years. Poorly laid floors can suffer from “dead zones” where the ball won’t bounce as well – frustrating for players.

Even the best quality basketball courts will need regular maintenance to protect them from the wear and tear caused by regular play. At the most basic, this includes daily mopping of dust and regular cleaning. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
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      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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