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World's Oldest Basketball Court is Inside a Paris Basement

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Though the game of basketball was invented in 1891 by a gym teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts, the oldest surviving basketball court can be found in the basement of a Parisian Y.M.C.A. Built in 1892, the building, now deemed a historic monument, was designed by French architect Émile Bénard, who was thought to be a student of Gustave Eiffel, who designed—well, you know.

The facility, which welcomes curious visitors every September as part of the European Heritage Days, also includes a theatre, bowling alley, and, as you can see in the photos, a sloped cycling track right above the basketball court. Modeled after the original in Springfield, the timeworn court is much smaller than what we're used to now (and certainly not any bigger than the fancy indoor courts of today's mansions), but those gorgeously preserved parquet floors must live on! According to Invisible Paris, at least, guests at the YMCA hostel still organize games there every weekend.

· Y.M.C.A. [Et Si On Se Promenait]