Hamline News

The Birth of Intercollegiate Basketball

On February 9, 1895, Hamline University hosted the first-ever intercollegiate basketball game in the country. Within four years of the sport being created, the Hamline basketball team played the Minnesota State School of Agriculture in the basement of the Hall of Science, where the Blue Garden is located today.

Under the nine-foot tall ceiling of the Hall of Science, players ran through a makeshift basketball court, which had been used previously as a mess hall. Unlike the nets we use today, they threw the ball into hoops made out of peach baskets with no backboard. The nine-person teams even included goalies to guard the baskets.

Raymond Kaighn, the Hamline University athletics director at the time, organized the game. He coordinated basketball as an intramural sport at Hamline in 1894, leading to the first intercollegiate game and a women’s basketball team the following year. Among his many achievements, Kaighn also created the first track and field teams at Hamline.

To learn more about Hamline’s current sports offerings, visit the Hamline Athletics website.