The First competitive basketball leagues where all local leagues, usually within the larger east coast cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. On some occasions’ teams from other regions would travel to play another team. Once such occasion took place on November 7, 1896. this was the first known professional basketball game was played in Trenton New Jersey between the Trenton YMCA and the Brooklyn YMCA. The game was played at the Trenton Masonic temple, and an admission fee was charged for admittance into the game. Each player got $15 dollars except Fred Cooper who got $16 dollars, and became the first highest paid player. Trenton defeated Brooklyn 15-1 to win the first ever professional basketball game.
Two years after the first professional basketball game was played six teams for Philadelphia and New Jersey formed the National basketball league(NBL). Shortly after the NBL formed, other leagues began to form all over the Eastern United States including the Philadelphia Basketball League, Eastern League, New York State League, and the Interstate league. Most early basketball leagues never lasted more then a few weeks, the NBL itself only lasted five seasons. In 1902 the New England Basketball League got a huge boost in national exposure when it allowed an African American named Bucky Lew play in a game