Today we released a reference article describing the “Origin of the Hoop“. The most interesting parts include the fact that the backboard was originally created to fend off fans, and the accompanying image of the first “basket.”
What I found strange about the image is that the basket almost surely must be higher than ten feet. Look at the doors behind the basket. Doing some basic measurements on the picture, the basket is just slightly over two doors length high. That means that those doors had to be less than five feet tall to make that basket ten feet high.
There is nothing in the original rules saying that the basket has to be ten feet high. Most articles written just declare that the first hoops were ten feet high, but I think it the official height decision must have come a few years later.
Based on my understanding of door heights from that era, I would estimate that the first basket rim was actually between 12 and thirteen feet high. I wonder how much that would have changed the evolution of the game had the hoop stayed at that height?