Subject - Basketball

The first intercollegiate basketball game took place in 1899, only few years after Dr. James A. Naismith invented the game as an indoor winter activity in Springfield, Massachusetts. In the 1930s basketball became a very popular sport among the student population, with the inauguration of Demonstration Hall as the university indoor basketball arena on January 22, 1930. In 1940 Jenison Field House became the new center for Spartan basketball. In 1957 the Spartans conquered the Big Ten title and made it to the NCAA final four for the first time, and lost to North Carolina in the immortalized triple over time game. Led by Earvin "Magic" Johnson, a Lansing native, the Spartans captured the first NCAA national championship in Men's Basketball in 1979 in a historic match against Larry Bird's Indiana State.

Prominent players include a long list led by Julius McCoy, Johnny Green, Lyman Frimodig, Chester Aubuchon, Magic Johnson, and more recently, Mateen Cleaves, Drew Neitzel. The 1990s witnessed a golden era in Spartan basketball under Coach Tom Izzo, who led the team to an NCAA national championship in 2000.

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A group carries basketball players on shoulders, 1957
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MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Basketball players fight for the ball, ca. 1950-1951
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MSU Archives and Historical Collections
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Johnson playing in basketball game, 1978
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MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Michigan State Basketball practice. 1930s.
Michigan State Basketball practice. 1930s.
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Three basketball players look over their shoulders, 1948
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MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Tip off of a basketball game, 1940
Tip off of a basketball game, 1940
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