BASKETBALL POPULARITY 7
Different arguments have beenraised about the popularity of basketball as a sport in comparison tosoccer. Notably, the prominence of soccer and soccer leagues indifferent parts of the world and most, if not, all countries make itthe most popular game in the world of sports (Martin, 2014). However,different personalities are of the opinion that the very rapiddevelopment of basketball will be able, sooner or later, to placebasketball above soccer’s ranking as the most popular sport in theworld (Kedmey, 2014). Arguably, there is a thousand folds global risein trend of the number following basketball leagues, in either theircountries or abroad on a daily basis. The game is gaining moreappreciation in different parts of the world including beingintegrated in schools curriculums as competitive sport entities(Kedmey, 2014). Since 2013, NBA has prided in a notable increase inthe number of international players from different nationalities(Martin, 2014). Martin, (2014) further points out that this numberis expected to rise gradually with the sports’ coming seasons. Inaddition, Roper Starch conducted a worldwide survey, generating viewsfrom 60,000 respondents that revealed that a stunning 16% of theglobe plays basketball.
As basketball continuesclosing the popularity gap relative to soccer, the game hasultimately been able to achieve popularity dominance in other partsof the world. In Asia and Australia, for example, basketball has longreplaced soccer in popularity and following. Surprisingly 300,000,000people in China play basketball (Martin, 2014). For instance, mostfactory workers get the chance during lunch breaks to play pick-upgames, while youths and college students also develop strongfriendship bonds through the game. In addition, China has beendescribed as the greatest bastion of basketball in the world outsidethe Americas. Renowned basketball players like Kobi Bryant and LebronJames constantly pay visits to China where as pointed out by The NewYork Times NBA is a strong force to be reckoned (Martin, 2014).Basketball is not only the most followed American sports league inAsia but also weighs among the greatest popular brands within theworld’s most populous nation, China. Therefore, arguments thatbasketball may at one point in time in the history of sports emergeas the most popular sport has a strong foundational base. Despite thefame and high popularity of the best and world renowned footballerslike Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and vast range of credits,profits and sponsorships enjoyed by various soccer leagues,Basketball popularity may eventually rise above them all.
Considering the rise inpopularity of the game, there has also been a rise in the inclinationtowards creation of electronic basketballs games. For example, gamesmade to be played through Xboxes and Play Station. These games havecontributed greatly to the increase in the number of people playing,attempting to play or following basketball (Somuah, 2013). Statisticsreveal that, in soccer, the millions of people who play soccercomputer games are also majority of the fans who account for thepopularity of the sport. To enjoy the games, most of the times, theplayers are required to understand the rules, skills and tacticsinvolved which can only be learnt through following the sport. Gamessuch as NBA 2K, NBA Live, NBA Street and NBA Jam are some of the mostpopular basketball video games played worldwide (Somuah, 2013).Ashley Young and Xabi Alonso, both footballers admit that one of thethings they enjoy doing most apart from field playing is playing FIFAvideo games with friends. Going by this, it can be concluded thatmost gamers are not only followers of the sport but also potentialplayers of the sports. Therefore, the rise in the number ofbasketball video games and subsequent increase in the number of thegamers could also indicate the increase in the number of peopleplaying basketball, hence increased popularity (Somuah, 2013).
Recent studies by the NielsenActive Gamer reveal that from a number of 2500 frequent gamers in theUS, the game players have diversified into a variety of sportsoptions (Montague, 2011). Kedmey, (2014) points out thatunfortunately for basketball, it still falls behind soccer and rugbyin this field of video games. Majority of the game players, howeverare males usually between the age group of 20-40 with most of thegamers preferring multi player options offered by the games (Somuah,2013). Psychological studies conducted globally reveal that videogames have tendencies of creating changes or influencing particularbehaviour of the gamers. For example, they improve the coordinationof the hand and eye and general psychomotor skills.
Even as the video game playingexerts influence on popularity of basket ball, the sport is anessential part of the school curriculum. Among the most popular sportin the world and in most schools is the basketball game. It acts as acasual way of exercising and is a very competitive team sport(Stuart, 2015). As such, basketball for many centuries has beenplayed in many schools such as Atwell college and willet ton SHS inAustralia just to name a few. This game is among the sports that willbe played in Adelaide in November at the school sport Australianpacific school games (Montague, 2011). Owing to many competitions inbasketball in many schools all over the world, many schools haveinvested in the game. With the recent data released by the nationalathletic trainers association in the United States, many schools inthe US have hired athletic trainers who help in coaching of thebasketball game (Stuart, 2015). Although the size of the court, thebasketball and the length of time taken varies, Schools have investedin making professional courts for the game as well as hiring ofcoaches.
Incorporation of sports in theschool’s curriculum is essential for effective growth anddevelopment of learners (Stuart, 2015). Sports not only provideavenues through which learners develop their talents but also provideplatforms of socialization and enjoyment making the learning processentirely fulfilling. Video games enhance socialization throughinteraction of multi players while sports in school curriculumsprovide the same avenue but more physical interaction in terms ofschool competitions and a more lively audience (Somuah, 2013). Assuch many curriculum programs in schools globally are harmonized witha diverse range of field and indoors sports activities. Basketball,as a sport presents one of the options available for these schoolsports. Engaging in the game has a wide range of advantages to boththe learners and the institution. Playing basketball is a healthy wayof burning excess calories. Stuart (2015) explain that basketballexperts point out that an hour of playing basketball can burn about630 to around 730 calories. Additionally, playing basketball buildsendurance, improves balance and coordination, and developsself-discipline as well as concentration in class as it builds upmuscles among other benefits. Basketball is a great way for thelearners to get active and have fun amidst the other activities inthe institution. The current increase in the popularity of the gamein schools, is a clear indicator of the decreasing gap between itspopularity in comparison to football.
Kedmey,D. (2014). It’s Official: Soccer is Bigger than Basketball,Baseball. Available onhttp://time.com/2917615/world-cup-2014-soccer-ratings/.Accessed on 15th June, 2011.Martin,J. (2014). Could Basketball Ever Become the Most Popular Sport in theWorld?. Availableat http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2178053-could-basketball-ever-become-the-mo st-popular-sport-in-the-world.Accessed on 15thJune, 2015.Montague,J (2011). Why soccer should fear the NBA. Available on http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/10/07/football.nba.fear.world/. Accessed on 15thJune, 2011.
Somuah, A. (2013). The 10 BestBasketball Video Games Ever. Available at http://uproxx.com/dimemag/2013/11/10-best-basketball-video-games-ever/. Accessed on 15th June, 2015.
Stuart,F. (2015). The Importance of Sports Classes in the NationalCurriculum. Available on http://blog.acpe.edu.au/index.php/health-fitness/importance-sports-classes-nation al-curriculum/.Accessed on 15thJune, 2015.