Basketball originated in the United States but has become a very popular sport played all over the world. In fact, basketball is the most popular online search in the USA, followed by other countries such as the Philippines, Australia, Canada, Iraq, and Mongolia. There are over 200 basketball-playing nations that compete against each other, and one of the greatest sports-related honors a country can hope to achieve is the team title in Olympic basketball. It is the popularity of basketball on the Olympic stage that helped it become the second-most popular team sport in the world, next to soccer.
Many people in different countries enjoy playing basketball because of many reasons. One of those can be theease of play because this sport requires minimal equipment and participants. Aside from that, basketball is also an exciting game because as the game clock ticks down in a close game, the result often comes down to the last shot. There are so many dramatic finishes in basketball. That’s why a lot of newcomers eventually become hardcore fans of the sport.
How Basketball Became Popular Worldwide
The 1948 Olympics transformed the way basketball strategies and approaches spread across different countries when Basketball Without Borders continued to be a trend. This resulted in a richer, cross-cultural game, which eventually developed into a global sport that could someday challenge soccer as the world’s game.
The progression of basketball on several levels was marked by the London Games of 1948. They also helped legitimize the basketball game as a global one. When the sport was invented by James Naismith in 1891, the Young Men’s Christian Academy (YMCA) quickly exported it abroad. After a decade, the game was played in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Latin America.
However, it took a while for basketball to become a part of worldwide governance, organization, and competition. At the 1904 Olympics, basketball was only an exhibition sport, until it was welcomed as an official Olympic sport at the 1936 Berlin Games. Since then, basketball had its own international governing body, which is the Fédération Internationale de Basket-Ball or FIBA. Though, the board of FIBA did not agree on the final codification of international rules until the 1948 games.
Before FIBA established its own quadrennial competition, which is the World Championship or now known as the World Cup, the Olympics were the only tournament in which national basketball teams could compete with each other and test their skills and styles of play. Since the United States is the birthplace of basketball, many thought that they would be the dominant team. However, 1948 showed how far other countries improved on the court. Even when the United States won the championship, high remarks were also given to Korea, China, and the Philippines.
As the years passed, the development of basketball continued to thrive on a vastly different scale and scope. Fans of the sport all over the world are now able to watch live broadcasts of elite-level matchups to see different styles of play. This includes the NBA, EuroLeague, national team FIBA competitions, and more. Aside from that, people can now also use the Internet to see results, spread game plans, and share skills through different media outlets. Social media platforms are now also used by people to exchange thoughts about basketball. All of these have produced a more diverse and competitive global game.
In the present time, basketball is the world’s second team sport that is played on different continents. It is a sport that bridges cultural divides and brings people together through the love of the game.
Basketball in Different Countries
As mentioned above, basketball has become a popular sport in many countries. And every country has its own different ways of how they play and enjoy the sport. Here are some of the ways on how basketball is played and appreciated in different countries.
When you visit Hong Kong, you will see how they are obsessed with the basketball sneaker culture. It’s because you’ll find a Nike store in every corner you go to. In fact, you won’t be able to go a few streets without seeing a sign for a collector’s shoe store. Aside from that, you will also see how passionate they are for basketball because there are lots of courts dotted around the city. When you go for a walk at night, you will see many people playing basketball on the street. They represent the sport with their flashy dribble sequences and intricate moves.
Many great athletes came from Australia. In fact, if the AFL was not around, it’s possible that many Australian athletes would be spread in different parts of the world as professionals in a variety of sports, including basketball. When you visit Australia, you will see a lot of indoor courts that offer availability to shoot or get involved in open runs. With the multicultural setup of the city, it offers competition against an array of players and skill levels from different parts of the world.
Basketball in England is not as physical as it is in the US and Australia because they focus more on skill development. The game has always appeared to be a somewhat underground culture in this country. Without a thriving network of its own when it comes to basketball, a lot of talented players in England are usually encouraged to leave at the earliest opportunity. Some of them leave for high school opportunities in the United States or academies in Europe.
Basketball is a very popular sport in the Philippines, and Filipinos surely love the game. Even though this country has many different islands and hundreds of dialects, basketball has become its uniting force. The main pro-league only operates around its capital city, Manila, but that does not stop people from other regions to enjoy basketball.
In fact, when you visit the Philippines, you’ll be able to find basketball courts in even the most remote locations you can imagine. You will see children playing the game barefoot, trying to throw up shots. People in these places may lack proper equipment, but you will definitely feel how passionate they are for the game.
Spain can be considered as the number two nation behind America when it comes to basketball. This country might not produce a lot of incredible athletes, but its youth development leagues are strong. They canteach fundamentals and team-play brilliantly. When you visit Barcelona, you will find lots of courts, giving people plenty of opportunities to play. Spanish basketball players are friendly in games but are also very passionate. You can expect competitive games when you play with them.
In the United States, the home of basketball, the style of play is what most people expect. It is very fast, physical, and aggressive. Basketball in the USA is built around speed and attacking the basket. It is still the US that produces the best basketball players in the world. This can be the reason why everyone who grows up playing basketball dreams of having the change to play with the greatest basketball players in America.
Basketball has indeed developed into a very popular sport over the years. It is a great sport that is enjoyed by many people all over the world. Therefore, we can say that as the years pass by, it will continue to grow and develop, becoming a more popular sport in many other countries.