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Basketball is a competitive sport invented as a men's game in 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts but now played on every inhabited continent and by men and women. It is contested by two teams, each comprising five players, in a rectangular basketball court. The team attempts to advance a spherical ball through a cast-iron basket with attached net and backboard, elevated such that the basket rim is–in most professional leagues–ten feet (3.048 meters) from the surface of the court.

Offensively, a player advances the ball either by bouncing it himself while stationary or moving (dribbling) or by throwing it (passing) it to a teammate, such that a player, within the time permitted by a shot clock, eventually propels (shoots) the ball toward the basket; should the ball pass through the basket, one (free throw), two (field goal), or three (three-point field goal) points, depending on the distance from which the shot is taken, are awarded.

Several strategies are employed by a team toward the end of generating uncontested shots for players, who most often begin a given play in distinct areas—the center and power forward proximate to the basket (top of the key); the small forward and shooting guard proximate to the three-point arc; and the point guard passim. The team to have scored more points upon the expiration of the time allotted for the game is the winner, and ties are most often settled during overtime periods.

A defense attempts to prevent an offensive team from scoring and to garner the ball for itself, employing various strategies to force an opposing player to surrender (turnover) the basketball, by dispossessing (steal) a player or successfully contesting his shot (block) or, upon an opponent's making an unsuccessful shot, overcoming an opponent to win the loose ball (rebound).

Certain disruptive contact, especially that by which an advantage is gained, is penalized (as a personal foul), as is unsportsmanlike conduct (as a technical foul), with disqualification often imposed on players who accumulate a pre-arranged number of fouls in one game. Certain means of ballhandling, such as one's running with the ball while not dribbling (travelling) or one's catching the ball between dribbles (double dribbling) are proscribed and, when committed by a given team, result in the awarding of possession to the opposing team.

Selected article

20130103 2012-13 Michigan Wolverines at Northwestern (1).jpg

The 2012–13 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team represented the University of Michigan during the 2012–13 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. For the forty-sixth consecutive year, the Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team played its home games in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the Crisler Center. This season marked the team's ninety-sixth consecutive year as a member of the Big Ten Conference (B1G), the team was led by sixth-year head coach John Beilein. The team was led by 2013 national player of the year, Big Ten Player of the Year and 2013 Consensus All-American Trey Burke and three additional All-Conference honorees. Stauskas and McGary earned multiple Big Ten Freshman of the week recognitions during the season. Burke was the second National Player of the Year and fifth first team consensus All-American in Michigan basketball history. Michigan entered the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament as the youngest team in the field. The team made its first Sweet Sixteen appearance since the 1993–94 team did so, the Wolverines appeared in the national championship game for the first time since 1989 – appearances in 1992 and 1993 were vacated due to a scandal. Following the season at the 2013 NBA Draft, Burke and Hardaway, who were selected ninth and twenty-fourth, respectfully, gave Michigan its first pair of first round NBA draft choices since the 1994 NBA Draft.

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Michael Jordan in 1987
Credit: Steve Lipofsky

Michael Jordan going in for a slam dunk with his signature exposed tongue.


Selected biography

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson (born 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired in 1991 after announcing that he had HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996 to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in assists per game. Johnson was a member of the "Dream Team", the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. He was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.



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