English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  One who argues the definition of basketball is likely to take it to court. Most people
think of basketball as just as sport with two teams, two hoops and a ball. Dr. James Naismith is
known world-wide as the inventor of basketball. He was born in 1861 in Ramsey, Ontario. James
Naismith moved on the the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891, where the
sport of basketball was born. In Springfield, Naismith was faced with the problem of finding a sport
that was suitable for play inside during the winter for the students at the School for Christian
Workers. Naismith wanted to create a game of skill for the students instead of one that relied on
strength. He needed a game that could be played in a relatively small space. The first game was
played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets used as goals. Naismith created a set of thirteen
rules that shape the sport known as "basketball" that we play today. These rules shape the
way the game is played today with some obvious variations. Today basketball has grown to become one
of the world's most popular sports. This word reflects English's history because like the
language itself, "basketball" was created from a mixture of ideas and rules.

While doing my preliminary research I found that 90 percent of the people I interviewed
thought of basketball as the actual game while the remaining 10 percent thought of the object
used in the game of basketball. Oddly enough 100 percent of the people I interviewed thought of the
Celtics when I mentioned basketball. The most common sentence used by the students I interviewed
was, "I played basketball," or "I play basketball," all using it in the noun
form. About 60 percent of the students i interviewed currently play basketball and think of our
schools team and the upcoming season. These statistics are very interesting because there
weren't many variations in what people thought of the game simply because the definition of
basketball is so narrow.

The OED defines "basketball" as "A game played indoors or out of doors with
a large inflated ball, which is thrown from player to player, the object being to score by casting
it into one's opponents' goal; a basket fixed ten feet above the ground at each end of the
field of play." If you look in any other dictionary it gives a very similar definition but the
one I read, Websters, lists "basketball" as, "A usually indoor court game between two
teams of usually five players each who score by tossing an inflated ball through a raised goal;
also: the ball used in this game." As you can see both definitions are very similar but the OED
is more in dept and elaborate than an ordinary dictionary.

As you know many famous people are famous due to the game of basketball. For instance
Michael Jordan an NBA Hall of Famer and Larry Bird a former Boston Celtic are