James Naismith, a Canadian-American sports coach was asked by Springfield College Massachusetts to come up with an indoor recreational winter sport to keep athletes fit so he invented basketball in 1891.
The first basketball hoops were actually just peach baskets and the first backboards were made of wire. The backboard was added because the audience who watched the game from the balcony used to interfere in the game by handling the ball. The incorporation of the backboard prevented that from happening. However, the peach baskets had a bottom and therefore, every time someone scored, a referee had to fetch the ball by climbing a ladder.