How Many People Around The World Play Basketball? Shocking Stats!

How Many People In The World Play Basketball?

Takeaway: Basketball, invented in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891 by James Naismith, has become one of the fastest-growing sports globally, with over 900 million players and 215 leagues worldwide. Its popularity stems from being a team sport that promotes social connection, accessibility, physical and mental health benefits, competitiveness, and high-paced gameplay. Additionally, the NBA features 80% American players and 20% international players from 38 countries, illustrating the game's widespread appeal and dream for many aspiring athletes worldwide.

After the first successful basketball game held in Springfield Massachusetts in 1891, Naismith knew that the game he invented will be well known and played by millions of people around the world. Discovering the game wasn’t only Naismith’s success but success for all athletes that wanted to play indoors.

Over the years past, basketball evolved, and many changes happened. These changes resulted in a more civilized and entertaining basketball game. Players had to adapt to these changes for them to play better inside the court. Whether the changes happened were bad or good for players, it doesn’t matter. As long as there are still many players who play the game, then I don’t think basketball will die because of such changes.

Basketball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the history of mankind. The game was played by millions of people around the globe. We all know that this game was played by millions but what is the exact number? Why do people love basketball, and why are players increasing every year? These questions will be answered in this article. We are going to put a fact on the table about how many people in the world play basketball and how it became popular. Let’s go!

How Many People Around The World Play Basketball?

Before we proceed to the other questions, let us first recognize the numbers of people in the world that play basketball.

How many people around the world play basketball? According to FIBA statistics, there are at least 900 million-plus people around the globe who are playing basketball. Every country has its basketball league, and statistics show that there are at least 215 basketball leagues worldwide.

These numbers may increase over time because of the rapidly growing population around the world. 

Basketball was invented in the United States, and Americans brought the game to Asia. Asian countries like the Philippines, China, and South Korea have a massive increase in players over the years past. The United States is very far from Asia, which means that basketball has taken over the world!

Quick Peek Of The History Of Basketball

Basketball was invented in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts, by a Canadian physical instructor, James Naismith. Naismith was tasked by his head boss to discover a game that can be played indoors and will help the athlete’s conditioning. They also wanted players to be able to keep in shape during winters. 

Naismith tried the game, and he divided his class of 18 into two teams (nine players each). He used a soccer ball as their ball and peach basket as their basketball ring. The objective of the game that Naismith gave to his students was to throw the ball into the fruit basket. Every time the ball goes in, the janitor will use a ladder and retrieve the ball. Naismith made 13 rules which are still currently used by all basketball leagues around the world. 

After the successful invention, the YMCA decided to spread basketball through the United States, Canada, and all over the world. In 1893 was the first European basketball match arranged by Mel Rideout. The Americans had easily spread the game to the Asian countries under their jurisdiction. 

The game was spread fast all over the world like a virus. After WW2, each international countries started to establish their basketball leagues.

How Did Basketball Become More Popular?

Basketball started to grow and be well known in the early 20th century and became more popular around the globe in the mid and late 20th century. At first, Naismith doesn’t know that basketball will grow as a Narra tree. His only focus at that time is to finish the task given by his boss. 

After a successful launch of basketball in the United States, basketball began to spread around the world quickly. The graduates of the YMCA school travel across Europe and until Aisa to introduce their new sport. Some cold countries were glad about the invention because they need indoor sport so that their athletes can play even during winters. The marketing made in basketball is successful. Basketball has grown tremendously and shall continue to grow in the coming years. 

As of now, basketball is stable, and the numbers of players are continuing to rise. I wonder how happy Dr. Naismith will be if he saw how his game was loved by all people in the world.

5 Reasons Why People Love Basketball

Basketball is one of the most loved sports in the whole world. There are various reasons why people love basketball:

1. Team Sport

The first reason why people love playing basketball is that it is a team sport. Humans are scientifically proven to have a healthier life if we have a healthy social life. Being social is one way that helped humans in the past to become more civilized, and this is why all countries today are successful. 

Basketball is a team sport that helps players to be more social and to learn to work with others. It is fun because five players will work as one and you don’t have to work alone to win. The challenge here is that teams must work together to win. If a team fails to work as a cohesive unit, then they will probably have a higher chance to lose. 

2. Accessibility

Another reason why people around the world love basketball is because the game can play anywhere. There are many courts established all over cities, and you can find a basketball court anywhere you go. Basketball requires only a ring and a ball, and it doesn’t need any special requirements. There are also different types of games you can execute even if you have no basketball ring, and all you have is a basketball. 

3. Physical Benefits

Basketball has many physical benefits that can help both the physical health and mental health of players. You will get a full-body exercise by playing one basketball game. You will move all your body parts. Legs and knees for running, upper body for defending, head for thinking, and arms and fingers for dribbling. 

Basketball can help your mental health because it is scientifically proven that the more a person exercises, the more it will likely keep their mental health healthy. The game also requires critical thinking to execute plays properly and avoid unwanted turnovers.

4. High Competitive

Humans are born to compete. People love basketball because it gives us a chance to compete and prove ourselves to others. Playing a sport is more fun if you have to compete with an opponent. You can compete for 1-on-1 or 5-on-5 anywhere as long as there is a basketball court. 

5. High Paced Game

Another reason why people love to play basketball is that because basketball is a high paced game. There are only a few dull moments during a ballgame like timeouts and free-throws. One usual basketball game has four quarters with 12 minutes of action each quarter. Each basketball game is exciting to watch primarily if an ace team will go against another ace team or if it is a close game. 

How Many Players In The NBA?

Let’s go check out how many players are currently playing in the NBA. We are going to check how many Americans and international players are running the league. Let’s go!

American Players

In the NBA, statistics show that 80 percent of NBA players are American citizen players. Knowing that each NBA team has 15 players. If you add it up or times it into 30 teams, the answer will be 450 players (not including the free agents). 80 percent of 450 is the number of American citizen players. 

International Players

According to the NBA, 108 players are playing in the league that is living from 38 different countries. Only 20 percent of international players are playing in the NBA, and the numbers will most likely increase in the next following years. 

For international players, it is a dream to play in the NBA. If you are not an American citizen, then most likely your chances of playing in the NBA are low. Even most of the free agents in the NBA are having a hard time getting a contract. That is why most free agents like Lance Stephenson preferred to play basketball overseas because it is easier to get a contract. 

What International Country Have The Most NBA Players?

As of the NBA season 2019-2020, the NBA statistics show that Canada has produced more talented players that successfully played in the NBA. Canada has 49 players, while European countries such as France, Serbia, and Croatia have a total of 86 players. 

These numbers will increase in the coming years as the numbers of good players in other countries are growing. 

Who Was The First International Player In The NBA?

The first international player to play in the NBA was Hank Biasatti. Biasatti is an Italian baseball player and a basketball player. He grew up in Windsor, Ontario where he was a basketball star during his college year and played baseball for the East Windsor Cubs. 

Biasatti decided to pursue his basketball career. He was invited to the inaugural training camp of the Toronto Huskies in the first season of the Basketball Association of America, which later evolved into the NBA. Biasatti was also selected by the Boston Celtics but never played for them.

After an impressive basketball career, Biasatti decided to leave his basketball career because his top priority is baseball. Even though his basketball career did not last long, Biasatti is still considered the first international player to play in the NBA. 

Final Verdict

Basketball was one of the best sports that have been invented in human history. Many changes make people dive into the conclusion that basketball will end soon because of the changes that happened. With the rapidly increasing number of players in basketball, I don’t see that basketball will die soon. 

The increasing number of players around the world can mean that sooner or later the NBA will be filled with many talented international basketball players. The game is involved along with the evolution of the players.

Now that you know how many people play basketball around the world, I hope you continue to support this awesome sport.

Why do you like playing basketball? Does playing basketball make you happy? Let us hear your opinion in the comments section below!

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