Celebrating more than 100 years of basketball history, the halls and exhibits of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honor the players, coaches, referees, and others who helped the game grow to an internationally beloved sport. There are shrines dedicated to more than 300 Hall of Famers, and the 40,000-square-foot basketball megaplex also houses more than 70 interactive exhibits with audio and video components, limited-run tributes to standout teams and players, and special events. The Hall of Fame provides an outlet for freshly inspired visitors to emulate the giants of the sport: a full-size center court, where they can practice alley-oops and half-court slam dunks or attend clinics taught by players and coaches. On the way back to the car, many guests pause for a photograph next to the towering silver sphere that punctuates the buildings' exterior.
Named for James A. Naismith, the inventor of the sport, the Hall of Fame stands just "a midrange jump shot" from the site of the original game. Played on December 21, 1891, the first contest tallied a final score of one basket to zero, prompting Dr. Naismith to remove the bee's nests from the backboards.
New Britain-Berlin YMCA's 90,000-square-foot complex helps members improve their lives through community programs, personal training programs, and a variety of fitness facilities, including a new massage studio. Besides bulking up on full circuit of Nautilus strength equipment or powering through Precor treadmills, steppers, and ellipticals, visitors can join friends for games of basketball in the double gymnasium or chuck tomatoes at the walls of five on-site racquetball courts. The clear waters of the 25-yard swimming pool parallel the mirrored walls of an 800-square-foot fitness studio, where members can partake in several health and wellness programs throughout the week.
• One month of gym membership with unlimited fitness classes (up to a $34.95 value) • A 30-minute massage from a licensed massage therapist (a $40 value) • A personal training session (a $60 value) • Access to the Champion Skating Rink during all public skate times (approximately 30 held each month; free with membership)