Basketball at Brigham Young University
February 11, 2009
Among the most popular athletic events held on campus are the men’s basketball games in the Marriott Center. In recent years the Marriott Center has gained a fearsome reputation as an extremely difficult place to win. Many people are surprised to discover that basketball began at Brigham Young Academy in 1900 as a women’s sport.
That first basketball team won the league championship. It wasn’t until 1902 that the Academy fielded a men’s basketball team under the direction of Coach W. A. Colton.
The basketball teams have had a number of different homes over the years. They first played in the old Men’s Gym in the older Training School Building.
In 1912 games were moved across the street to the Women’s Gymnasium.
In 1951 the basketball teams gained a home in the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse and remained there until 1971 when they moved to the newly completed Marriott Center.
Brigham Young University basketball teams have featured a number of outstanding athletes. The 1933 team featured the university’s first All-American in Elwood Romney. Three players have had their jerseys retired at Brigham Young University. They are Kresimir Cosic (11), Danny Ainge (22) and Brenda Gunn (44).
Several collections in the University Archives allow individuals to gain a better understanding of the role that basketball plays at Brigham Young University. They include:
- UA 1029 Brigham Young University Athletic Photographs, 1893-1989 This collection documents photographically the variety of athletic activities (including basketball) that took place at Brigham Young University from 1893 until the end of the 1980s. Click here to access the finding aid.
- UA 786 Basketball Media Guides, 1950- Media guides include season schedules; player rosters; season outlooks; profiles of BYU coaches, coaches of opposing teams, players, and other athletic personnel; lists of BYU lettermen; team won-loss records; tournament results; and other statistics.
- UA 544 Dept. of Physical Education records, 1920-1980 Includes correspondence and records from the office of the dean. Also includes records from the various department offices, faculty directories, biographical sketches and newspaper clippings. Also includes information on the various athletic teams fielded by the university. Click here to access the finding aid.
- UA 942 Brigham Young University Sports newsclippings, 1946-1976 Contains newspaper clippings from the Daily Herald, Deseret News, and other newspapers during the years of 1946-1976. The clippings include information about the players and scores of the Brigham Young University football, basketball, tennis, track, swimming, baseball, soccer, golf, and wrestling teams. The collection is sorted chronologically. Click here to access the finding aid.
If you are interested in learning more about the collections documenting basketball at Brigham Young University, please contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or firstname.lastname@example.org .