Basketball In Europe: 10 Things You Should Know!

Basketball In Europe

Key Takeaway: Basketball is popular in some European countries, but it is not as dominant as football. Despite basketball's lower overall popularity, European players have made a significant impact in the NBA and are known for their physicality and shooting skills.

Basketball is one of the best and popular sports around the world. However, in some countries and continents, basketball is known but it is not as popular as in the United States and the Philippines. 

For example, in Europe. Europe is well-known for its football skills. They also love basketball, but the percentage that plays basketball is lower compared to the percentage of people playing football. You will be surprised if you see the percentage of people playing football and basketball in Europe. 

Basketball is the second popular sport in Europe. Most Europeans like playing soccer instead of basketball because it was the first sport to become popular on that continent. 

We are going to learn more about the popularity of basketball in Europe, and how good European basketball players are. Below are the ten things you should know about basketball in Europe. 

Is Basketball Popular In Europe?

Basketball is popular in some countries of Europe. However, basketball is not as popular as football in Europe. In some countries in Europe, basketball is their second or third popular sport. Soccer or football is the first one. 

Even though basketball is not that popular in Europe, they still have organized basketball leagues like the NBA. There are many professional basketball players in Europe and some of the best plays in the NBA.

When you watch the NBA, you will see many European players, including Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo. These two well-known NBA players came from countries of Europe.

Luka is from Slovenia, while Giannis is from Greece. Even though basketball is not so popular in Europe, there are still many basketball talents out there. 

Why Is Basketball Not Popular In Europe?

Like I have said above, basketball is popular in some countries in Europe. However, the majority of the countries in Europe are not interested in playing basketball. Most of the European people love to play football, and it is the first popular sport in Europe. 

Why is basketball not popular in Europe? Basketball is popular in some parts of Europe, but it is not as popular as football. The reason why is because the best basketball players came from North America, while the best soccer players came from Europe. Also, football was the first sport that became popular in Europe, and it originated there as well.

Basketball is only second on the list of popular sports in Europe. However, in some European countries basketball is on the third or fourth list. Like I have said, basketball is popular in Europe but not as popular as soccer. 

Basketball In Europe
Basketball In Europe: 10 Things You Should Know!

In Sweden, football, floorball, and ice hockey dominates team sports. Basketball isn’t even in the top ten on the list of the most popular sports in Sweden. Basketball is not a big priority in Sweden because they have different kinds of taste when it comes to team sports. 

However, not all countries are like Sweden. In some parts of Europe, basketball is popular. Basketball is popular in Spain, Serbia, France, and Portugal. But it is not as popular as soccer, and basketball only sits at number two on their list of popular sports. 

Even though basketball is not as popular as soccer, many people know how basketball is being played. However, they don’t care about basketball as much as they care about soccer. Basketball is already widespread around the world, which is why it is normal for all people to know the basic mechanics of the game. 

The culture of basketball is not widespread in Europe, and even though it is, football culture is still stronger there because it is where football started. Basketball cannot beat football when it comes to popularity in Europe. There are more die-hard football fans than basketball in Europe. 

Do Europeans Like Basketball?

Some of the Europeans like to play basketball. However, the majority of Europeans are in love with football. In Europe, basketball is the second most popular team sport in many European countries including Greece, Serbia, Turkey, and Spain.

Europeans have different tastes in sports. Some love basketball, and some love football. But there are still more people that are addicted to football. 

Most Europeans know the basic mechanics of basketball, However, even though most of them know the mechanics of basketball, the majority of them are still infatuated with football.

The reason why is because football or soccer is the first sport that became popular in Europe. Also, football originated in Greece and Rome, which belongs to the list of European countries. 

Why Europeans Don’t Like Playing Basketball?

Many Europeans like to play basketball. However, most of them prefer to play soccer. Why? Because soccer came from them and it is the first team sport in Europe. 

There are few Europeans that like to play basketball when compared to Europeans that like to play football, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t like playing basketball. 

There are still some Europeans who are infatuated with basketball. Europe has produced many basketball talents that are now playing in the NBA. 

Why Is Basketball Popular In Eastern Europe?

The reason why basketball is so popular in Eastern Europe is that there are many tall people there. Because they are tall enough for soccer, they have no choice but to play basketball. 

Lithuania is one of the countries in Eastern Europe that has good basketball talents. Several Lithuanian basketball players have successfully played in the NBA, including Arvydas Sabonis, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Žydrūnas Ilgauskas, and Darius Songaila.

Many people love basketball in eastern Europe, and many talented NBA players came from eastern Europe like Luka Doncic. Because of the internet, basketball has spread in Europe and mostly in eastern Europe. 

Why Is College Basketball Not Taken Seriously In Europe?

Did you know that college basketball is not taken seriously in Europe? When you compare college basketball in the US and Europe, you will be shocked by the difference. In the US, college basketball is taken seriously because they are the next NBA stars. However, in Europe, the treatment of college basketball players is vastly different from America. 

Why is college basketball not taken seriously in Europe? College basketball in Europe is not taken seriously because no sport is taken seriously at college there. It is not the way sports work in Europe. Skilled basketball players in Europe don’t play for universities but for teams in big basketball leagues that have youth sections. 

How Good European Basketball Players?

Even though the popularity of basketball in Europe is not enormous, there are still many basketball talents from there that successfully played in the NBA. Who are they? Some of them are Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Vlade Divac, the Gasol brothers, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Luka Doncic. 

European basketball players are good at playing. They play more physically compared to NBA players. Even Kobe Bryant said that he thinks European basketball is more physical than the NBA. Here is what he fully said:

 “I’d allow for more physicality in the game. I’d allow for hand-checking, things like that. “I feel like European basketball is more physical than the NBA is right now. I think the NBA needs to be more physical.

Kobe Bryant

European basketball players are also shooters. Players in the European basketball leagues have a high shooting percentage. If the European basketball players from different European basketball leagues play in the NBA, they have a chance, and they can compete because of how good they play basketball. 

However, do European basketball players play better than American basketball players? Let’s find out on our next sub-heading. 

Are European Basketball Players Better Than American Basketball Players?

Basketball is more popular in America than in Europe. However, the basketball training given to European basketball players is more difficult compared to American basketball players. I cannot say who is better because it depends on many factors like their training routine. Some say European basketball players are better because of their training routine. 

In Europe, when parents see their kid has potential in basketball, they start to put him in a basketball camp. Ten-year-old kids are training like professional basketball players already. When they reach the age of 18, they have an insane work ethic, and their whole game is polished because they will be in the gym most of their time. 

While In the US, lots of kids there treat basketball as a hobby only. When they reach 14 or more, that is the time they become more serious. They will look for scholarships or train hard to reach directly to the NBA.  

European basketball players are also more flexible than American basketball players. They take stretching seriously, they take massages, and they get treated for ailments constantly. Even though young European basketball talents train hard, they have a good method to survive the tough training. 

So to conclude, European basketball players have good training routines compared to American basketball players. However, I still don’t want to conclude who is the best in basketball.

But when we take a look at how they train, I would say European basketball players have a high chance to outplay American basketball players. 

Why Isn’t Europe As Good As America In Basketball? 

It is not true that European basketball players are not as good as American basketball players. There may be more good American basketball players compared to good European basketball players, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be good as the American players.

European basketball players can be good as American basketball players. It depends on the training routine and when the basketball player starts playing basketball. Many good European basketball players are playing in European basketball leagues. They are not famous because they are not given attention by the media. 

The opportunity of a European basketball player to play in the NBA is low because you need good connections and exposure to play in the NBA if you are from Europe. But if you are living in the US, all you need is exposure. You just need to go into basketball camps where there are scouts to showcase your talent. 

A kid living in America has more chance of getting into the NBA compared to a kid living in Europe. Why? Not because the American kid is much better, but because the American kid has a high chance to expose his talent. 

The percentage of Americans playing in the NBA are high compared to European NBA players. However, this doesn’t mean that Americans are more skilled in basketball than European players. There are many skilled European basketball players out there that are not given too much exposure. 

Difference Of European Basketball From American Basketball

When you watch the games in the European basketball league, you will notice some differences from the NBA. What are the differences? The differences between European basketball from American basketball are.

  • European is more of a team game
  • Young European players are trained at ten years old
  • European basketball players are more physical
  • Basketball rules

The basketball tactics of European players are different when compared to the NBA. They play more of a team, and they pass the ball lots of time. European basketball players make basketball like soccer when it comes to passing the ball. They focus more on ball movement than ISO plays. 

You European basketball players are trained at ten years old, and their training is high-intensity. While the American basketball players treat basketball as a hobby when they are young. They only become serious when they reach the age of 15, and will look for scholarships. 

Europeans are more physical, and Kobe stated that as well. They play more physically when compared to the NBA. Europeans play a high-intensity basketball game, and they have no room for physically weak basketball players.

The last thing European basketball and American basketball differs is the rules. Basketball rules are global. However, European basketball leagues have changed some of the rules.

For example, the timing and measurements. In European basketball games, the duration of their game is only ten minutes while in the NBA it is twelve minutes. 

Final Verdict 

The popularity of basketball in Europe has become enormous today compared to the past couple of years. Thanks to the internet that provides easy access to information about basketball. However, even though basketball has become more popular today compared to the past, football is still in the top one of most popular sports in Europe. 

If you are interested in basketball in Europe, check out the list of the best European basketball leagues. Also, if you are interested to play basketball overseas, check out our tips on how you can play basketball overseas

Who is better? European basketball players or American basketball players, and why? Show your answers below! 

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