How Did the Tradition of Cutting the Nets in Basketball Start?


The buzzer sounds. The teammates’ hands link and raise up in
victory. The heads of the other team dip in defeat. The orange basketball is flung up in celebration. Young student-athletes dance around, releasing
a year’s worth of pent up stress due to basketball and (in theory) school-work. Another men’s basketball NCAA championship
has been won. The winning team gathers, exchanging high-fives
and hugs, as ladders are brought out to the court and positioned underneath the baskets. With a pair of scissors in hand, each member
of the team, from the players to coaches to the training staff, are given a chance to
climb the ladder and snip a tangible piece of this memory for themselves. By doing this, they are engaging in the tradition
known as the “cutting of the nets.” The basketball net, the very same one that
had shot after shot swish through pushing this team to victory, has now become a piece
of sports memorabilia. This custom of “cutting the nets” began
where many other basketball traditions had their beginnings — in the state of Indiana. When asked by his Indiana high school yearbook
what he believed his future occupation would be, Everett Case answered “basketball coach.” And this was in 1919 — before the NCAA,
before the NBA, and before basketball held the American sporting conscious like it does
today. For an 18 year old high school graduate to
answer that question with an occupation that was, well, not really an occupation at the
time, showed his undying passion for the game. Upon graduation, Case attended the University
of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Afterwards, he went to the University of Illinois
to study the finer points of the game under the great Ralph Jones, considered by many
to be the father of Indiana high school basketball. At the age of 22, Case was selected over 18
other applicants to become Frankfort High’s basketball and track coach. Within three years, Case had led the small
central Indiana high school to the state championship. Over his 16 season tenure at Frankfort, Case’s
teams would win the state championship three more times. After each championship, Case would remind
his boys to always cherish the memory and, perhaps, to take a little something that would
help them with that task. Often, that little something were the basketball
nets. In 1941, and at the age of 41, Everett Case
gave up being a high school basketball coach to join the Navy. It was said that Case, ever enthusiastic and
patriotic, joined in such a haste that he left his desk at the school fully stocked
and didn’t retrieve his belongings until he returned five years later. While in the Navy, Case was commissioned as
a senior-grade lieutenant and trained in Chicago and California. But his real talents were coaching and organizing
young men to play basketball. He was appointed the Navy’s assistant athletic
director and director of basketball. After the war, Case returned to the state
of Indiana to retrieve his belongings from his desk, but he did not stay long. Upon leaving the Navy, he took his coaching
expertise south and became the head coach at North Carolina State University. Case had immediate success at NC State, leading
them to the 1946 Southern Conference title. In 1947, NC State again won the conference
title. Upon victory, Everett Case, excited, proud,
and wanting to cherish the memory, harked back to his days at Frankfort High in Indiana. Remembering his players snipping the net,
he asked arena workers for a ladder. Unfortunately, there was no ladder to be found. Case, undeterred, had his players hoist him
up on their shoulders for him to grab his twine memento. The Hoosier tradition had found its way to
the national stage. Case would go on to become a coaching legend,
establishing NC State as a college basketball powerhouse. They would win four more Southern Conference
titles before moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference (the ACC) and winning four more. He was named the ACC Coach of the Year three
times. Case is credited in turning North Carolina,
always football country, into a basketball-crazed state (for evidence, watch a Duke or UNC basketball
game). He popularized the postseason tournament,
convincing the ACC to put on their conference tournament in his home arena and the NCAA
to award the winner of the conference tournament automatic entrance into the NCAA championship
tournament. He is still the winningest coach in NC State
history and was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1964, Case was diagnosed with multiple
melanoma, a cancer of plasma cells. The disease is incredibly painful as it slowly
eats away at the bone marrow in one’s body. Case had to retire only two games into the
season. During that year’s ACC tournament, Case
was not on the sideline, but rather sat courtside and confided to a wheelchair. He watched as his NC State Wolfpack upset
the top-ranked – and interstate rival – Duke Blue Devils. When the final buzzer sounded, the players
walked over to Case and helped him out of his wheelchair. They placed their beloved coach on their shoulders
and watched as Case snipped his final net. Eighteen months later, Everett Case would
pass away, but the tradition of preserving lifelong college basketball memories with
a snipe of twine still persists to this day.

89 thoughts on “How Did the Tradition of Cutting the Nets in Basketball Start?

  • March 24, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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    Today I found out… That I am 1st and you the reader are not! It feels so good, but you wouldn't know because you are not 1st. Thanks for reading this important announcement.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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    I literary asked my dad this question 5 mins ago, thanks!

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  • March 24, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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    I thought they said cutting NECKS for a second

    Man basketball is rough

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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    Damn I'm early

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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    Pls sub I’m a small youtuber

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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    2nd

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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    It would be called hoopball then

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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    Can you please make a video on how country’s got there name😊🙏🏼❤️

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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    dope 2 view 👌👌👌

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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    First!
    Update: I was not first, but I was damn close.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:21 pm
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    Wasn’t aware that cutting the net existed.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:23 pm
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    Hahaha Brother
    When you said “ in theory school work”

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:26 pm
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    It used to be peach baskets

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:26 pm
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    I just realized the weaving of the basketball net makes the hoop….look like a basket.

    I'm 26. Oof.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:29 pm
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    A Duke watched.

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  • March 24, 2019 at 6:30 pm
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    Go Hoosiers!
    We might not be the greatest at spelling or complex math, but by God, we can all shoot a free throw.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:32 pm
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    I did not know people cut there nets in basketball

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:41 pm
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    Sanctioned vandalism, cheaper than goal posts,I guess.

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  • March 24, 2019 at 6:43 pm
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    See… We Hoosiers arent completely useless. We give corn, indy car racing, and weird traditions like this.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:47 pm
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    It may be semantic, but Case had Multiple Myeloma, not Multiple Melanoma. One is in blood-plasma, the other in skin.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm
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    As long as it's a North Carolina team, I don't care which team wins. Duke, Carolina, NC State- go get 'em!

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm
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    I was JUST wondering this question last night, how timely

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  • March 24, 2019 at 6:49 pm
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    Today I found out this is a tradition that exists.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:53 pm
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    I was not aware of such a tradition.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:55 pm
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    didnt know this was even a thing

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 6:56 pm
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    Well this is so useless for me, but I like useless knowledge 😂

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 7:01 pm
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    I DONT LIKE THE BALL

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 8:00 pm
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    people still give a shit about basketball?

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 8:12 pm
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    I'm a life long sports fan and I've always wondered why they cut down the net. Great video.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 8:28 pm
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    I never heard of this tradition.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 8:31 pm
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    Hey, that's nothing. I've read that the original game of basketball from the Mayan and Aztec Mesoamerican cultures often ended with the execution of the losing team's captain or even the whole team.

    https://nbahoopsonline.com/Articles/2008-09/Mesoamericanball.html

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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    Winningest is not English! At best it is an horrific abomination and bastardisation of language.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 8:59 pm
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    And I thought it was just something stupid. Like to know where and how it got started to turn cars over and start them on fire after the big game.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 9:09 pm
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    Such impeccable quality, both of research and of delivery. Simply astounding.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 9:14 pm
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    Least interesting thing I've ever heard

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 9:24 pm
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    welling to bet 80% or more of your audience didn't even know this was a thing lol

    PS: most of this wasn't even related to the subject, least not directly. Should of just been a facts about early basketball imo

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 9:29 pm
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    Great stuff. Nice heartwarming ending.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 9:35 pm
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    Think this is the first time I cried at the end of one of yr videos

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    Never heard of it before.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 10:20 pm
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    More US-centric nonsense that doesn’t interest most of the world.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 10:31 pm
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    Has anyone ever committed a crime while under hypnosis?

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 10:38 pm
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    I have absolutely no knowledge or interest in basket ball but still found this interesting and even a little heart warming. I wonder where all that coaches snippets ended up? Probably worth a small fortune.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 10:48 pm
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    In Chicago, after a good "Gang bang", we snip the panties off the girls involved and nail them on our mantle as memorabilia !!! 😉 Go Chicago!!!

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 10:50 pm
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    i never knew this was even a thing

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 10:57 pm
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    Why is music played during your videos? I think it's distracting.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 11:04 pm
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    Why does america have world series sporting events with only american teams playing???????

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 11:12 pm
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    Wow people really never heard of this before 🤯I thought march madness was watched all over the country. I have always known about this tradition

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 11:29 pm
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    Future videos : Is Saturday the 14th a busy day at the morgue?

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 11:52 pm
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    Just looked down at my soda from Wendy's and was surprised to see a net being cut on the cup. Nice coincidence

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 12:20 am
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    Basketball is trash

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 12:29 am
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    I've never heard someone call it the N C A A. I've always heard NC double A.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 12:56 am
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    Never heard of this

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:06 am
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    By lieutenant you mean lefftenent, right

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:16 am
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    Why is it when white men do something, its a reminder or memento. Anyone else does it, they say we’re stealing??

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:59 am
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    too many war and military stories…. maybe the channel should have its name changed to today i bored out

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 2:34 am
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    I only know they remove the net after the championship but I didn't know they cut it.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 3:21 am
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    How did the tradition of dumping Gatorade on the coach of the winning team start?

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 4:06 am
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    KU won't be doing that this year. Ha Ha Back then it was the NIT tournament

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 4:18 am
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    Is "cutting the rug" a tradition for the winners of dance contests?

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 5:58 am
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    Next…Gatorade dumping!

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 6:08 am
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    Submitting a question:
    Why do planes and ships use nautical miles instead of regular miles or kilometers?

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 6:57 am
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    How did people handle snow in the middle ages? Like say I have a wagon or a horse and want to get from point to point in Sweden or wherever, are there crews of serfs clearing the king's highway?

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:46 pm
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    Net cutting is not only NCAA tradition

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 2:26 pm
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    I didn't know this was a tradition, but ok cool. lol

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 3:07 pm
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    Today I found out that there is a game called basketerballinger

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 3:41 pm
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    Hey I have a question for you.
    Why are people outside the US not specific about universities?
    I.e. "I studied at University" as opposed to I studied at a university, or the university, or the name of the university.

    As an American it sounds like there is only one University outside of America that everyone goes to haha. Over here all the universities are different so we specify which one we studied at.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 5:15 pm
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    I didn't know Johnny Sins switched his job. Glad to see he's doing good.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 6:49 pm
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    What a legend!

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 7:19 pm
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    I had never heard of this tradition until viewing this.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 7:20 pm
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    I should remind everyone that basketball was invented by a Canadian.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 7:35 pm
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    No bonus facts about why the basketballs are orange and not whites as volleyballs

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 11:06 pm
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    Today I found out they cut the nets in the first place

    Reply
  • March 26, 2019 at 2:39 am
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    I thought this video was going to answer the question of why they destructively "cut" the net with scissors instead of just unlooping it from the hoop and keeping the entire net as a souvenir. That's what I always wondered.

    Reply
  • March 26, 2019 at 6:26 am
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    a new instrumental music?

    Reply
  • March 26, 2019 at 4:22 pm
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    I played basketball in high school and college; I've long been a huge fan of the sport although I don't really follow NBA or NCAA anymore … and I've never even heard of this "tradition".

    Reply
  • March 26, 2019 at 10:39 pm
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    But why did Case cut the net in the first place?

    Reply
  • March 27, 2019 at 8:18 am
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    wait what

    Reply
  • March 27, 2019 at 10:47 am
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    I never heard of this🏀

    Reply
  • March 27, 2019 at 1:54 pm
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    I’m from the USA and this is the first time I’m hearing about this.

    Reply
  • March 27, 2019 at 4:31 pm
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    Sad ending 😢

    Reply
  • March 27, 2019 at 5:43 pm
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    It is multiple myeloma (not multiple melanoma) that is cancer of plasma cells.
    Melanoma is cancer arising in pigment (melanin) containing cells (melanocytes) in skin.

    Reply
  • March 29, 2019 at 4:30 pm
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    “In theory, school work” 😂🤣

    Reply
  • March 30, 2019 at 4:58 pm
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    Anyone who has not watch the espn 30 for 30 called survive and advance, watch it immediately. It's about an NC State coach and will inspire you and make you cry, guaranteed.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 6:33 am
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    Today I found out that only white tall people played basketball back in the day. Imagine how much better his teams would have been if they were all inclusive.

    Reply
  • April 7, 2019 at 6:22 pm
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    Ralph Jones, the father of Indiana high school basketball. So – "Indiana Jones?"

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  • April 17, 2019 at 6:24 pm
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    Very interesting had no idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  • May 4, 2019 at 3:31 pm
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    I am still English

    Reply
  • May 22, 2019 at 11:38 pm
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    They still do that for high school basketball championships in Indiana. Or at least they did when I was in high school. Wasn't on the team but watched the team win sectionals and regionals often.

    Reply

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