Basketball has exploded in popularity in recent years amongst Chinese youth.
Basketball was introduced to China in 1895, just four years after James Naismith, secretary and physical education instructor of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Springfield, Massachusetts, nailed a fruit basket to a wall at Springfield College (then the YMCA training school). Naismith probably never imagined that his invention —basketball— would have such an impact on the world of sports. Today, the teams and players of the National Basketball Association (NBA) have won the hearts of many basketball fans throughout the world with their performances. The Dow Jones stock index rose when Michael Jordan returned to the NBA in 1995. And since Jordan first set foot on a professional basketball court, the fee for broadcasting NBA games has increased tenfold. Chinese schoolchildren who idolize Jordan proudly choose his name as their “English name.”