Invented in the U.S. towards the end of the nineteenth century, basketball did not need a long time to become a very popular sport, soon spreading well beyond U.S. borders. In Italy, it developed during the first decades of the 1900s and the Italian Basketball Federation (FIP) was subsequently founded in 1921. According to data published by the FIP, the recorded roughly 363 thousand memberships as of the 2018/2019 season. Whereas the number of male athletes went down compared to the 2007/2008 season, they still accounted for most memberships. On the other hand, there were about 21 thousand female athletes in the federation as of the 2018/2019 season.
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