The International Basketball Federation is the organization that governs basketball across the world. The highest governing body in basketball is also called FIBA, from the french Fédération International be Basketball. FIBA is responsible for dictating the trends of basketball world wide, deciding rules, organizing competitions and popularizing the game of basketball. All national basketball federations around the globe, like USA Basketball, are FIBA members and are under its leadership and fiscalizing. Members must have their finances in place and abide by FIBA rules, otherwise they can be punished with suspensions and fines. FIBA has its own basketball hall of fame, where it honors important characters who made an impact on the international basketball scene.
FIBA oversees all categories of women's and men's basketball, as well 3x3 basketball, which was recently added to the Olympic program. It is the federation's job to organize international competitions for all categories in continental, and global. For example, FIBA will organize the U-16 women's panamerican championships and the senior men's world cup. The organization is also the one deciding the format of Olympic qualifiers, and organizing the qualification tournaments. Not only on international tournaments, the organization also regulates and oversees transactions between teams and club tournaments like the Euroliga.
The International Basketball Federation was founded in 1932 by federations from 8 countries, which are considered the founding members of FIBA: Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland. Two years before the IOC had officially recognized the sport of basketball, which stimulated the creation of an international federation. Basketball was first seen on the Olympics with a men's event four years later, in Berlin. A women's basketball event would only be added in 1976.
Starting in 1950, FIBA started organizing a worldwide basketball world cup, which aimed to put the world's best basketball players playing against each other. The world cup became a big event in the world of basketball, creating exciting rivalries throughout the years. However, only amateur players could play on the competition, that meant that no NBA players were allowed to play for their countries. In 1989, FIBA welcomed NBA players into its competitions, which would eventually lead to NBA players taking part in the Olympic games in 1992, in Barcelona.
The basketball world cup is an exciting event that draws the attention of basketball fans around the globe. For those who believe basketball is limited to the NBA, the World Cup shows it differently. The FIBA World Cup is played every four years, hosted by a country elected by the FIBA members. Starting in 2017, the Federation started a new qualification system, inspired by FIFA and the soccer world cup. In the new system teams from each country play their continental rivals in specific dates throughout the year. The organization also included more teams in the tournament, totalling 32 per edition. The United States has won the most world cups, with a total of five titles. Teams in the World Cup play to win the Naismith trophy, which honors the inventor of basketball Jmaes Naismith, who was still alive by the time FIBA was foudned in 1932.
You may hear a TV commentator, journalist, or even a player use the term "FIBA rules". That is because the International federation has a set of rules slightly different from those of the NBA. The fundamentals of basketball are the same, the game is essentially the same, however some minor things such as goaltending rules and number of fouls leading to an ejection are different. The majority of leagues around the world follows the FIBA rules, and international competitions organized by it also do it.