Just why is basketball so popular in Australia?

Just why is basketball so popular in Australia?


The National Basketball League has a key role to play in the sport’s success and many of Australia’s top talents are now being picked up by NBA sides in the United States of America. In fact, captain Andrew Bogut was the number one overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Simply put, as we all know, basketball’s main appeal is its flowing, continuous style of play and possession. The ball is more or less always in play and there are very rarely breaks. In a sense, it’s similar to ice hockey but without the aggression. It’s very end-to-end and constantly keeps supporters on their toes whilst watching the game. That is why we love it. But is basketball now challenging the established sports in Australia for popularity?

It could be argued that fans are becoming obsessed with the sport and there are now video and casino games, and mobile apps that can ensure avid basketball supporters keep up with all of the latest news and gossip. In fact, the video games have been a real hit with the fans as they can be played during half-time intervals or whilst waiting for the next basketball game to start. In a similar way, fans play casino games via various online destinations. Although you won’t find a basketball game here, fans are still able to get their sport fix on other games such as Cricket Star and Rugby Star.

If nothing else, this shows that cricket and rugby remain the two primary sports in Australia. For many years, the nation has watched on as the Boomers succeed at major international tournaments but their time to shine in basketball may be approaching. At this summer’s Olympic Games, Australia will attempt to defy the odds and beat the USA – the best basketball nation on the planet. While it will be difficult, they will fancy their chances of a shock victory – especially if Bogut, who dreams of finishing his career in the NBL, performs at his very best.

Although the sport has been played Down Under for years, Australia has previously struggled to put a decent side together. Nowadays, there is plenty of talent in the ranks, including four players plying their trade in the NBA. They probably won’t win at Rio 2016 but they will certainly give a decent account of themselves and could produce a few shocks throughout the competition.

Dan BoyceAuthor: Dan Boyce (358 Posts)

Dan Boyce is a die-hard Sydney Kings fan who grew up in Melbourne during the roaring 90's of Australian Basketball and spent far too much time collecting Futera NBL Basketball cards