FIBA celebrates a very special first World Basketball Day

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) celebrates the first World Basketball Day, marking a historic milestone as the first team sport to receive this global recognition and prestigious honour.

As a result of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and its plenary session held in August, on the eve of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, a resolution was adopted to establish the first ever World Basketball Day on 21 December. 

There is no better day to celebrate basketball than the day it was invented by Dr. James Naismith. It was on 21 December 1891 that the first game of basketball famously took place in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis commented: "We are extremely proud of the establishment of World Basketball Day and very grateful to the UN and other partner organisations who continue to recognise the positive role that basketball plays for millions of diverse people around the world. 

James Naismith invented the game of basketball.
James Naismith invented the game of basketball.

"The fact that basketball is the first team sport to receive such recognition is a clear demonstration and endorsement of the tremendous societal benefits it delivers, as well as the unlimited potential that exists in using Basketball For Good." 

United Nations Director-General in Geneva, Tatiana Valovaya, said: "In perfect alignment with our 2030 Agenda, basketball serves as a powerful enabler for sustainable development. It's not just a game, it's a platform that changes perceptions, challenges prejudices, and unites communities around the world. 

"The sport's ability to bring together people from different backgrounds and cultures, speaking a universal language of unity and inclusivity, is truly remarkable." 

Michael Jordan is considered the best player in history. GETTY IMAGES
Michael Jordan is considered the best player in history. GETTY IMAGES

To both mark and celebrate the new World Basketball Day, FIBA is organising several activities and activations. These include a special event at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball for dignitaries from the various UN entities and partner organisations in Geneva, as well as guests from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), and representatives of the YMCA. 

The FIBA Foundation is also using the first World Basketball Day to launch its annual photo competition.  Fittingly, this year's theme is "Basketball for Good" and more details about the competition can be found here. 

A special social wall has been set up on to showcase all posts using #WorldBasketballDay will be featured to mark the special occasion. Meanwhile, each national federation has also been invited to play its part, with the entire global FIBA family working together to make World Basketball Day as memorable as possible.