Formation of the NABC began when Joint Basketball Rules Committee, then the central governing authority of the game, announced without notice that it had adopted a change in the rules which virtually eliminated dribbling. Allen, a student of basketball founder James Naismith, organized a nationwide protest which ultimately resulted in the dribble remaining part of the game.
In 1939 the NABC held the first national basketball tournament in Evanston, Illinois at the Northwestern Fieldhouse. Oregon defeated Ohio State for the first tournament championship. The next year, the NABC asked the NCAA to take over the administration of the tournament.