The First Team were the first players known to have played the sport of basketball, having been taught the game in 1891 by James Naismith, who is recognized as the inventor of the sport. The team comprised 18 players who were studying in Springfield, Massachusetts, to become executive secretaries of the YMCA and who, as part of their coursework, studied physical education with Naismith, who is said to have invented the game to teach teamwork skills to his charges. The team was inducted as a group into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of that organization's inaugural 1959 induction class for their efforts in popularizing the sport and as the game's first practitioners.
T. B. Patten and C. B. Libby were designated captains of the sides, who played a game that looked distinctly different from what fans would see in future years. With nine men to a side, each team had three forwards, three guards and three centers. The three positions were divided into three section of the court, with only the centers allowed to roam. The final score of the first game was 1–0 with William Chase scoring the first basket in the history of the sport.
In 1937, a re-enactment of the contest was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City using Naismith's 13 original rules, a soccer ball and peach baskets. The six surviving members of the first team were interviewed by the organizers of the event to ensure it was true to the original game.
The following are recognized by the Basketball Hall of Fame as members of "The First Team":