Quick history lesson: The game of basketball was invented by a Canadian-born P.E. teacher and founder of the Kansas Jayhawks basketball program named Dr. James Naismith. If the name sounds familiar, it should. The Naismith College Player of the Year is a prestigious award handed out annually to the – you guess it! – best make and female player in college basketball. It’s also the name of basketball’s HOF, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.

If you’ve ever wondered what was so special about Springfield that it would house the names of the greatest to ever play the sport, it’s because Dr. Naismith invented basketball at a local YMCA there in 1891 as an attempt to keep his class occupied during the blistering Massachusettes winter.

It’s since grown in popularity from a little YMCA in Springfield, Mass to a multi-billion dollar global industry.

Like hoops, Hip-hop also was created with meager beginnings.

In the 1970’s, folks in the South Bronx started producing underground music that featured people MCing over breakbeats. The music started spreading through block parties and house parties and made its way onto the playground courts in the Bronx, then the surrounding boroughs, and finally the terrestrial airwaves and MTV.

The two have been synonymous ever since with dozens of rappers writing entire songs on the subject of the sport.

Here’s a list of the 12 best Hip-hop songs about hoops ever produced:

12. Shaquille O’Neal – “(I Know I Got) Skillz”

Release Year: 1993
Album: Shaq Diesel
Producer: Def Jam, Meech Wells

Flip over to Page 2 for #11 on the list!

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