Alberta Mirror

Thursday, December 9, 2021

N.B. group raising funds to conserve Canada’s oldest Basketball court

Key points: 

  • The latest Brunswick group is looking to raise $10 million to conserve a bit of Canadian and sports history. 
  • Local Historians state a bit of basketball history exists in a non-descript property on King Street in St. Stephen, N.B. 

A group from Brunswick wants to preserve the oldest basketball court in Canada: 

A Court in numerous use buildings is trusted to be the first spot in Canada the game was played, after a student of the sport’s inventor – Dr James Naismith – reached in town to run the local YMCA. 

It is also the world’s most ancient living basketball court. 

Historians say, Lyman Walker Archibald, brought the game to the group in 1893. 

The community Canada 1st basketball is now controlling the charge to reinstate the court. 

Robert Otto, the community’s president, said that the court was first utilized on Oct. 17, 1893. 

“That’s from the local newspaper at the time,” he said. “And the court building has gone through a whole series of, I guess, transformations and uses over those years.” Source – ctv.ca

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Otto stated the building served as the group’s YMCA from about 1891 till about 1899. 

“The court is located in the upstairs in the back of the building,” he said. “And of course basketball was a very different game in 1893 than we’re used to today.”

It has also been utilized as a print store and numerous other commercial working, Otto stated. 

“It didn’t do a lot of damage to the building thankfully,” Otto said. “I think it kind of awoke the history of the building and the court in the minds of the community and they said ‘we’ve got something special here and we don’t want to lose it, and we almost did.’” 

“The downstairs of the building has been used for commercial operations and, in fact, there was a pharmacy in the building for approximately 100 years,” Otto said.

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