U.S. colleges first began to play the game between 1893 and 1895. The first college games were held in Madison Square Garden in 1934, and afterwards college basketball began to attract heightened interest. By the 1950s basketball had developed into a major college sport, thus paving the way an increased interest in the professional sport.
The National Basketball League was the first professional league in the game. It was formed in 1898 to protect players from exploitation and to promote safety rules for the game. The NBL lasted for only five years, however, and in its wake several loosely-organized leagues formed (and disbanded) throughout the northeastern United States. One of the first and greatest professional teams was the Original Celtics, formed in 1915 in New York City. They participated in as many games as 150 a season, and they were the premier team in basketball until 1936. The Harlem Globetrotters, founded in 1927, is an exhibition team which focuses on stylized tricks in ball handling.
In 1949, two professional leagues, the National Basketball League (formed in 1937) and the Basketball Association of America (formed in 1946) merged to create the National Basketball Association (NBA). The NBA is now regarded as the premier basketball league in the United States, and is likewise well-known throughout the world.
The Internet has proven to be a useful venue for both students interested in college basketball, as well as coaches involved in the process of recruiting for athletic scholarships. There are many websites and online forums wherein students and scouts can come together and interact. D1Athletes is an online community wherein high schoolathletes and coaches alike can share and exchange information they need in their search for athletic scholarships.