It’s time for Beaver County memories, presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. As we enter college basketball season, it’s appropriate to take a look at how two teams from Beaver County played an important role in starting the sport over a century ago.
In the late 1800’s A physical education instructor at the Springfield Massachusetts YMCA, named James Naismith, invented an indoor game to give his students something to participate in during the long cold New England winters. Naismith’s original version of what would become known as modern basketball featured two peach baskets hung high above the floor on each side of a gymnasium Nine players on each side would pass a soccer ball up and down the court, eventually trying to toss the ball into their respective basket to score a point.
According to many sources, one of the first ever collegiate basketball games was played right here in Beaver County. In 1893, Geneva College played a game in Beaver Falls against the New Brighton YMCA. Geneva won the game in a shutout three to nothing. Around that time, a few other inter collegiate games were taking place across the nation, but Geneva College remains to be listed as one of the first college basketball games on record. Later on, Geneva would use the slogan “The Birthplace of College Basketball” in its marketing materials.
Geneva College continues to prosper on the court and in the classroom at it’s recently renovated one hundred ten acre campus in Beaver Falls with an undergraduate enrollment of just under fifteen hundred students. Men’s and women’s Basketball is still a popular sport as the Geneva College Golden Tornadoes compete in N.C.A.A. division three and play their home games at Metheny Fieldhouse on campus.
The New Brighton YMCA is now known as the Beaver County YMCA and continues operations out of a state of the art facility between New Brighton and Rochester along Junction stretch.
This has been a college basketball edition of Beaver County memories, brought to by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows, on Tuscarawas road in Brighton Township.