Uniting around inaugural World Basketball Day

Date: 21 December 2023

On Thursday, YMCAs, sports clubs, teams, and schools worldwide celebrated basketball, a sport born at the YMCA, with the first-ever World Basketball Day.

Dr. James Naismith created the first basketball game on 21 December 1891 in Springfield, Mass., USA, using a pair of peach baskets and a soccer ball. Fast forward to 25 August 2023, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/77/324, proclaiming 21 December as World Basketball Day.

FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis.

The UN acknowledges basketball’s universal appeal: “Like many other sports, basketball transcends borders, cultures, and languages. It serves as a unifying force where people from different backgrounds can come together, bond and communicate with each other, creating connections and breaking down barriers, and thereby contributing to peace”.

The House of Basketball at FIBA headquarters in Mies, Switzerland, hosted delegates from the World YMCA, the UN, and others. And YMCAs worldwide organised events to showcase the game; here’s a look at just a few:  

YMCA The Gambia

The YMCA held a special day of events, including passing and shooting drills, shooting competition, and games for ages 12-18

YMCA Siderno (Italy)

The YMCA held an indoor afternoon basketball event open to the community. 

The Y Canberra Region (Australia)

The Y partnered with local organisations such as the Bruton Basketball Foundation to let people take their best shot and learn more about the game. (pictured above). 

On World Basketball Day, the FIBA Foundation launched FIBA Photo Contest. Share your best YMCA basketball images encapsulating the essence of ‘Basketball For Good’, now through 24 February 2024. See the link for details and prizes!

FIBA Photo Contest

Foglia YMCA, Illinois, USA
YMCA Bombay

The YMCA opened its doors to all for free throughout the day to enable community members to enjoy basketball. And, from 5 to 8 p.m., it hosted two skills classes, a three-point contest and a free-throw contest and held prize giveaways.

YMCA Bombay

The YMCA celebrated World Basketball Day with more than 1,000 children in its nine basketball courts across Mumbai, India.

YMCA Thessaloniki (Greece)

The YMCA held basketball games throughout the day, and all YMCA Thessaloniki’s teams and academies from all different sports participated. In addition, the YMCA offered open tours for schools and beneficiaries, including a look at the YMCA Basketball Museum. Check out its newest video, “Basketball, Youth & Change”.