Los Fresnos News

Bringing Peach Baskets Back to the Game

Los Fresnos B&G Club Share a Little History Lesson about Basketball & the origins of the Sport

Photo sent in by Los Fresnos B&G Club

By Emilio Flores
Los Fresnos News

The Boys & Girls Club of Los Fresnos decided to do a throwback to the late 1800s when basketball was first invented. Eddie Barron, Executive Director of the Los Fresnos Boys & Girls Club, explains the importance of teaching these kids history in a fun and interactive way. He also mentions that even most of the parents don’t know the history of basketball, so this was a great opportunity to teach & engage the whole family.

According to Britannica, Basketball was invented by James Naismith on or about December 1, 1891, at the International Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Training School, Springfield, Massachusetts, where Naismith was an instructor in physical education. Naismith was challenged with creating an indoor sport that was safer than football while being indoors and keeping the participants active and engaged.

James Naismith holding a ball and a peach basket, the first basketball equipment.
Photo by UPI/Bettmann Archive

Some interesting facts about the early forms of this sport were that the baskets were made out of peach baskets, which meant that when a basket was made they needed to stop the game and have a designated person put the ball back in play. Another interesting fact is that basketball was first played with a soccer ball. It’s sometimes rumored that they used a volleyball, when in fact volleyball wasn’t invented until 1895, four years after basketball by William G. Morgan. Some actually say that Morgan was influenced by Naismith, which may have some validity since they did work at the same YMCA in Massachusetts. Interestingly enough, Basketball was the first major sport invented in the United States. It quickly became a huge hit, really taking off by 1936 when it became an Olympic sport.

The B&G’s Club went all out having actual peach baskets fastened to the rims of the backboards. Eddie Barron mentions that back then, there was actually an assigned person dedicated to retrieving the ball from the basket to put it back into play. These assigned workers would often be dressed up because it was a gentleman’s sport, so the B&G Club did not hold back from keeping it original.

All the kids, families, and volunteers had a great time watching these kids relive a little history. Sitting down and talking with Mr. Barron, it became apparent the passion and drive he has in making these events a great success and a great experience for these kids. He has many projects that he has already done, and many he is in the process of doing, though he does mention may decide to retire, he says that there are a few big projects on the bucket list first.

Mr. Barron has been a part of the B&G’s club for some 20 years now and has been heavily involved in coming up with these creative events. That’s his passion, serving these kids and his community.