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The First Team were the first players known to have played the sport of basketball, having been taught the game in 1891 by James Naismith, who is recognized as the inventor of the sport. The team comprises 18 players who were studying in Springfield, Massachusetts, to become executive secretaries of the YMCA and who, as part of their coursework, studied physical education with Naismith, who is said to have invented the game to teach teamwork skills to his charges. The team was inducted as a group into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of that organization's inaugural 1959 induction class for their efforts in popularizing the sport and as the game's first practitioners.
The following are recognized by the Basketball Hall of Fame as members of "The First Team":