Wyoming’s ‘March Madness’



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The concept of a national tournament in college basketball is older than the term “March Madness” itself, but did you know the NCAA holds more than two dozen trademarks relating to March Madness, including a trademark on the word dribble?

The NCAA does not, however, hold a trademark on the jump shot, the invention of which is rooted in Wyoming’s own bounce-iful history. Famed University of Wyoming Cowboys basketball player Kenny Sailors (1921 – 2016) was credited with inventing the jump shot.

The shot wasn’t something Sailors could patent, but he wasn’t the only innovator in our state contributing to the sport! Wyoming inventor James R. Bush from Hulett submitted a patent for a basketball shooting apparatus in 2001. The device is described as having been created to assist players in solo practice, with the aim of returning the ball to the shooter for a more efficient use of time and energy. Bush’s summary of the invention reports, “The basketball shooting practice return apparatus of the present invention solves the aforementioned problem providing a means to enable a shooter to practice shooting the basketball with adequate arch on the shot.” Read the full description and view the patent.

Do you have the next game-changing idea for the world of basketball and don’t know where to start? Contact Wyoming State Library’s Patent & Trademark Resource Center for more information regarding trademarks and patents.

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