In the previous two articles, you read about the origin of basketball and about the game itself. You also reviewed a few of the special words and phrases used in the sport, and interesting facts about some outstanding players.

This article re-acquaints you with other basketball terms and their meaning, and offers a miscellany of interesting and entertaining tidbits about the game.

The three-point line is the large half-circle drawn toward the outside of the basket.

Throw-in is to put the ball back in play from out of bounds.

A brick is a shot that misses the rim of the basket and bounces hard off the backboard. Players who shoot many bricks are called “bricklayers.”

The term air ball is used to describe a ball that is shot, misses the rim and doesn’t touch the backboard.

Double-double refers to the double figures a player has (ten or more) in points and rebounds.

A flagrant foul is one made on purpose, with excessive force or physical contact, and which results either in an automatic free throw or in the player’s being expelled from the game.

Garbage time is when the outcome of a game has already been decided, because a team leads by an unbeatable number of points, and the opposing team can’t possibly catch up in the time left.

A sixth man is a player who is not one of the five who start a basketball game. He is the first player off the bench as a substitute for one of the starting five. The role became so important that the NBA (National Basketball Association) created an award for the best sixth man each season.

Basketball miscellany

In the first basketball games over played, James Naismith’s students used a soccer ball. In order to get a better grip on the ball, they rubbed coal dust on their hands.

Here are some notable movies about basketball and its players:

  • Glory Road, 2006
  • Coach Carter, 2005
  • Something to Cheer About, 2002
  • Passing Glory, 1999
  • Michael Jordan, An American Hero, 1999
  • The 6th Man, 1997

James Naismith’s diaries revealed that he based his game of basketball mostly on the rules of a children’s game called “Duck and Run.” In this game, a stone was placed on a raised object, such as a tree stump and guarded by one player. Other players would then throw rocks (“ducks”) at the stone to try to dislodge it. When it was knocked off, players ran to pick it up. If they were “tagged” before they reached the throwing line, they became “it” and had to guard the stone.

Many changes have taken place in basketball since its invention in 1891. The original peach basket has been replaced by a net in a hoop and the soccer ball by a rubber or leather ball of specific measurement and weight.

Even the size of the standard court has been altered and is now roughly double what it was. But two things have not changed in all this time. And they are the popularity of the game and the pleasure it brings to fans and players alike.