Vintage Varsity Basketball Jacket. Original College Varsity Jacket, Made in Littel Rock Arkansas, USA By Spalding Athletics. The 1st Basketball. Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891, players had to use a soccer ball. Naismith asks A.G. Spalding to develop the very first basketball, and it isn’t long before the official rules of the game read, “the ball made by A.G. Spalding & Bros.