From the Farm to Basketball

Posted: March 16, 2022

There are many things that are associated with basketball which originate on the farm.

Basketball – Some basketballs are made of leather, which comes from the hide of beef cattle. The pros use leather basketballs. College basketballs are made of mostly synthetic materials.

Basketball shoes – Today’s shoes are a mix of leather and synthetic mesh with the sole of the shoe made from rubber. Leather comes from cow hides and rubber comes from rubber trees.

Popcorn – Some schools sell popcorn in their concession stands. Popcorn is grown on farms throughout the country. This tasty treat goes well with some butter (from cows) and salt!

Programs & Tickets – Pick up a program with a listing of basketball players and team highlights. Show your admission ticket. The program and ticket are typically paper made from softwood trees.

Did an Illinois farmer invent the breakaway rim?

Farmer Arthur Ehrat was the inventor of the breakaway basketball rim. Ehrat, from Virden, IL, used a spring from a John Deere cultivator to create a rim that could withstand 125 pounds of force by bending and then snapping back into the original position. His official patent was awarded in 1982.

Why are basketballs orange?

The first basketball was a dark-brown color due to its heavy leather construction. Some felt it was hard to see. In 1958 Tony Hinkle introduced the orange color which was more visible to players and spectators and is common today.


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