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Amazing Vintage Basketball Footage Shows What Game Was Like in the 1930s

by: Esteban On  Thursday, March 12, 2015

vintage basketball footage illinois high school association h.v. porter

The Illinois High School Association has discovered some incredible vintage basketball footage shot during the Great Depression by Hall of Fame basketball coach and administrator H.V. Porter. And they’ve been kind enough to share with the basketball-loving world an eight-minute segment of the Illinois high school championship tournament between 1932 and 1936.

If you are a fan of basketball you should definitely watch the entire thing. It provides a fascinating look at the early days of the sport.

That said, the entire video is 10 minutes long. So if you are, say, at work, you might want to take a quick peak now and watch the rest later. In that case, skip to 1:46 and watch until 4:28. After a quick intro, we see some great game footage, and the narrator points out why the top of the lane is called “the key.” Then we get a hilarious look at the strategy of games in the 1930s. (Hint: there is none, nor is there any notion of “high-percentage shots”)

After you’ve watched that, if you still have time, watch from 6:52 to 7:56. This might be the best overall snapshot of what the game was like back then—jump balls at center court after every basket, underhanded free throws, halftime entertainment, low-scoring games, and—because some things never change—fans storming the court.

Hat Tip – [Deadspin]



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