The backboard is the board behind a basketball net. It is usually a rectangle. Some are shaped like a fan.
The backboard was invented in 1893. Before that, people sitting behind the net could reach over, near the net. They could knock the ball away from the net. This kept players from scoring. So the backboard was made to stop that from happening.
The first backboards were made from wood or chicken wire. Later, glass backboards were made. Glass backboards are the ones that professional players use.
Today, players use the backboard to help get the ball into the basket. Backboards help them score!