The Birth of Wheelchair Basketball

World War II Veterans Popularized the Sport—And Changed the Game for the Disability Rights Movement

On an unremarkable Wednesday evening in the spring of 1948, 15,561 spectators flocked to New York’s Madison Square Garden to watch two teams of World War II veterans play an exhibition basketball game.

The servicemen who took to the hardwood that night were as extraordinarily ordinary as any group of veterans. They could have been the “mud-rain-frost-and-wind boys” from Ernie Pyle’s Pulitzer Prize–winning columns, or “Willie and Joe” from Bill Mauldin’s Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoons. They were your brother, your neighbor, your best friend from high school.

Except, they were different. The home …

Building an NBA Team to Lose | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Building an NBA Team to Lose

The 76ers Sacrificed the Present for the Future, but Was ‘the Process’ Worth the Price?

Last February, while in Boston for MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, I found myself sitting at a bar table alongside Sam Hinkie, the former general manager of the NBA’s Philadelphia …

How Native Americans Made Basketball Their Own | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Native Americans Made Basketball Their Own

In the Early 1900s, the Sport Offered a Rare Physical and Mental Refuge From Oppressive ‘Indian Schools’—and the Chance to Develop Distinctive Identities

Nowhere today are people more passionate about basketball than in Native American communities. Why?

The hoops seen outside most homes and gathering places on western reservations speak to basketball’s cultural significance …

The Quiet Yalie Who Invented American Football

As a Player and Coach, Walter Camp Rewrote Rugby’s Rules to Create a Sport Fit for America

American football is the all-but-official sport of the United States. But for all the media coverage it draws, the origin story of football gets missed. How did this game …