B – Basketball

This is my ninth year of blogging the A to Z Challenge. Everyday I will share something about my family’s life during 1950. This was a year that the USA federal census was taken and the first one that I appear in. At the end of each post I will share a book from my childhood collection.

Did you know that Basketball was invented in Springfield, Massachusetts by Dr. James Naismith while working at the local YMCA? You can hear him talk about it in the short interview below.

When my father was pastor of St. John’s Congregational Church from 1945-1951, he had an active youth program, with boys basketball being an important component.

“Cleage’s work was appraised in retrospect by the church historians in the commemorative volume The History of St. John’s Congregational Church in 1962, more than a decade after he returned to Detroit. At the outset of Cleage’s ministry at St. John’s, it was noted:

‘Mr. Cleage soon inaugurated a strong youth program for the church. Membership in St. John’s Pilgrim Fellowship and College Forum was greatly sought after, and lectures of these groups grew each week. Included among the popular activities begun by Mr. Cleage were the junior and senior dramatic workshops.

Lindsay B. Johnson Jr. and Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr.

A vigorous church athletic program that produced winning basketball teams coached by Mr. Cleage and Mr. Lindsay B. Johnson Jr., was another product of the new minister’s youth program. During this period, a Brownie Scout group was organized under the leadership of Miss Adele Pickens, a Springfield school-teacher.'”

From Prophet of the Black Nation by Hiley H. Ward ©1969 United Church Press, pg 65.

Kristin catching the ball. July 1950.

Although I didn’t play basketball, I did play catch.

Baby Bunny

15 thoughts on “B – Basketball

  1. My daughter played basketball throughout her school days. I like watching the game. I did not know it was invented in Springfield, Massachusets, and so recntly – I will see if she knew that. I really enjoyed the interview.

    1. When my sons were growing up there were always basketball games going on at the basketball court in town. Until the kids started playing those electronic games. It was strange.

  2. My daughter played in high school and her son plays nearly every day of the week. It’s part of our family’s story so I’m grateful for its invention.
    I know I had Golden books but I haven’t recognised any yet.

    1. It was popular in Detroit too. Our high school had a team, but I have no idea how they did. I did used to go to church basketball games. And I think we had a winning team. Obviously sports do not occupy much space in my memory! Lol.

    1. Those must have been the happiest years of my life, I’m always smiling. Mostly anyway.
      Basketball turned big fast. Or maybe it just seems like it because I’m so old.

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