- National Teams
Worcester University has launched the National Basketball Heritage Archive and Studies Centre (NBHASC), following a celebration on National Sporting Heritage Day at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday.
The launch showcased the valuable and inspiring collection of rare archive material and sporting memorabilia pertaining to British basketball’s history that will be held at ‘The Hive’ in Worcester, Europe’s first joint university and public library. It will also have an online presence through the university library webpage and the Sport Heritage Network.
The project began when 58 boxes of material were deposited at the University of Worcester in 2015 by leading British basketball statistician and historian John Atkinson, supplemented by additional material from respected British basketball historian, Jenny Collins.
“I hope it’s the beginning of unifying groups in basketball for the sake of players from the past and players from the present, to put a context into basketball in the UK which is long overdue,” Atkinson commented.
“It’s been a wonderful day because I feel part of a very good team and I’m hopeful that everybody here will pass positive vibes to the whole of the rest of the basketball community and we will go forward and develop things for the future betterment of the sport.”
The collection aims to preserve basketball’s cultural heritage, showcase its national significance and ultimately engage wider audiences with the sport and its past.
“Basketball has been traditionally understudied in this country and it’s really important people recognise the value of this archive,” added Dr Geoffery Kohe, a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Sport Studies and a Sport Historian from the University of Worcester.
“It (the archive) does contain a lot of really important material and it can be used in so many ways; educational, for community engagement, and it really demonstrates just how significant the history of a sport like basketball – which to be honest hasn’t received a lot of attention – is, to a community.”
The collection, which goes back to the early 1960s, includes a variety of material including magazines, newsletters, newspaper clippings, game and tournament clippings and game statistics. The material relates to international men’s and women’s basketball, youth incentive and education, statistics, sponsorship and the media.
The NBHASC is inviting submissions of historical basketball-related materials of local and global significance to add to the collection. If you have any materials which you think may be of interest, please email [email protected].