Kim, Washington, D.C.
Subj: Orange you glad I asked
Hey Ry Guy, why are basketballs orange?
Great question! Since basketballs are made from leather they tended to be dark brown until the late 1950’s. Unfortunately that hue made them difficult to track by fans and players alike. Cue Tony Hinkle. The Butler University basketball coach was convinced a lighter shade of orange would help make the game more enjoyable and he worked diligently with Spalding to create a prototype. The new ball was rolled out for the first time at the 1958 NCAA Finals in Louisville and proved to be such a hit that it was adopted by the league on a full time basis the following year.