By   November 22, 2017

Like any modern game, Basketball is continually evolving. The game that started with a peach basket and a Canadian teacher is now America’s most played sport, fueled by enthusiastic fans, vibrant basketball uniforms, and thrilling playoff runs. Whether you are speaking NBA, WNBA, minor league or home league, basketball is an exciting pastime for participant and spectator alike. And, one could argue, the best is yet to come, as basketball gets more and more steeped in contemporary engineering, the innovations that are being generated could change how we play and watch sports.

Although relatively new to athletic performance analytics, there is definitely a sea of change coming to basketball and basketball hoodies, as lots of athletes and fans are getting ready to become trapped in it. Together with the increase of analytics includes a new wave of technology designed to measure, analyze, and improve performance on a degree never before seen in professional sports. But before we dive into the creations, let us take a look at how the sport began, its development since, and the development on the horizon.

Basketball’s humble beginnings are much more primitive than what it’s become today. In December 1891, James Naismith, a Canadian professor of physical education at a YMCA in Massachusetts, was searching for an athletic pursuit to maintain his students occupied. He wanted a game that could be played indoors in a gymnasium, due to the cold and harsh New England winters. According to Naismith’s journal, he incorporated the principles of a child’s game known as “Duck on a Rock” to make a new sport that he called “basket ball” — named primarily for the fact that the first “net” was a peach basket affixed to an elevated track. (It was not until later than Naismith decided to cut open the bottom of the basket, allowing the ball to be poked out with a dowel; up to that point, a participant had to climb up and empty the ball from the basket when a group scored.)

Given that basketball is a comparatively youthful game, there were even more innovations to come; ones that even James Naismith could not have predicted when he awakened that peach basket. Since those days of awkward balls and makeshift baskets, basketball has seen a great deal of change. Ever since the NBA was formed from the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1949, athletes are drawn to this fast-paced game, and have demonstrated a strong desire to enhance their performance and triumph. At the end of the day, the aim for any professional staff is to be the very best, and get a competitive advantage by embracing innovation and technology.

Take the present trend of analytics in sports. There appears to be a dividing line between those who believe in analytics as new gospel, and those who would rather keep having an old-school way of thinking when it comes to picking players and picking the best lineups. Yet unlike baseball and soccer, basketball does not have a lot of “old school” mindset to draw on, and it looks a lot more receptive to staying on top of new inventions and trends. As soon as you include the childhood of many of basketball’s star athletes, then you receive an industry that’s far more open to embracing analytics as a mathematical means to succeed.

With all the current ways to see a Basketball game whether on tablet, computer, smartphones, televisions, which all provide replays on demand; the NBA is doing its best to keep up with the times, and, in some regions, transcend them. In 2013, Newsweek reported on the upcoming video technologies that would be set up in each NBA arena for this coming season. This innovative motion catch tech would offer an unprecedented opportunity to assemble player data: Throughout every NBA game, six cameras will capture the position of every player and the ball 25 times per second. In 48 minutes of activity, that is more than 4 million total data points per game. Information being data, it could be sorted, sliced, diced, minced, examined, and queried. Coaches and general managers will use it to learn things about basketball nobody even thought to ask about before.

Even in the past few years the players have been looking at, and using, this collection of information to improve their performance. More than just watching and analyzing video highlight reels, an increasing number of athletes are turning to movement sensors and basketball replay technology to receive a microcosmic perspective of how they are performing, and how they may be performing better. And the most recent generation of 3D motion sensors capture the athlete’s performance metrics such as vertical height, acceleration, rotation, and even hang time. This powerful information can be overlaid onto mechanically created video highlight reels, providing athletes of all abilities a profound comprehension of their performance. As time continues, a growing number of athletes use this technology to hone their abilities, thus making them more precious. Those people who are on the forefront of this expanding technology movement might be the ones who reap the most rewards.

When new technology is on the horizon, it is worth it to be an early adaptor. And because innovations are being made all of the time to be able to generate basketball among the most cutting border sports out there, there is no telling what the future might hold for analytics, wearable technology, data collection and more. It may have built tremendously upon James Naismith’s original concept, but if he had been around now, he may just be amazed that his small “basket ball” game is In the forefront of technological progress.