It's such a simple concept: cover an area, not one guy. And yet, it took many years of competitive, organized basketball to be played before Frank Lindley introduced the world to the zone defense. Who was Lindley? Just a high school coach from Kansas who dared to think a little differently. It certainly worked well for him, as Lindley's teams compiled a 594–118 record and won 10 state championships.
The zone is now used by teams on pretty much every level of basketball, perhaps most famously by Jim Boeheim and Syracuse University.