Raptors Forum | Toronto Raptors Forums & Message Boards

Raptors Forum | Toronto Raptors Forums & Message Boards (http://www.raptorsforum.com/f/)
-   Oh Canada! (http://www.raptorsforum.com/f/f45/)
-   -   Interest in Basketball among youth in Canada (http://www.raptorsforum.com/f/f45/interest-basketball-among-youth-canada-25608.html)

jeffb 07-14-2013 01:40 PM

Interest in Basketball among youth in Canada

“With the first pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Anthony Bennett!”

The words uttered out of NBA commissioner David Stern’s mouth not only surprised NBA fans and pundits, but the young basketball player himself, who later commented, “I was extremely excited – and a little bit shocked – when I heard my name called as the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft!”

For Stern and NBA executives, though, Bennett–who hails from Canada–being selected first in the 2013 NBA Draft was likely unsurprising. Bennett’s draft position serves as the culmination of extensive efforts the NBA and Canadian basketball authorities have exhausted to popularize the sport and league in the country.

Today, the growth rate of basketball participation in Canada among the country’s youth exceeds that of hockey and soccer. Since 2010, basketball participation has seen a growth rate of 16 percent. A 2010 study found that basketball is the most popular team participation sport in Canada among youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Additionally, 29 percent of all households in Canada have a household member who participates in basketball. Part of the reason for the sport’s growing participation in Canada in the face of soccer and hockey is its accessibility. ”Basketball is a sport that is easy and inexpensive to play, and a safe sport. There are a plethora of opportunities to play basketball in Canada. Over the last 20-years, organized basketball has become more relevant in Canada,” MacKenzie noted.

Relaxed immigration laws and increased participation opportunities paved the way for basketball to overtake hockey as the most popular sport among Canadian youth. However, the entry of the NBA into the country pushed the sport’s popularity in Canada over the edge. In 1995-96, the NBA strategically placed teams in two of Canada’s most-populous cities, with the Grizzlies taking up home in Vancouver and the Raptors heading to Toronto. The locating of these teams to Canada provided the nation not only with teams to get behind, but the country’s young men with the ability to grow up watching players they would strive to emulate. ”What you are seeing now with the growth of the sport, is the first generation of kids who have grown up with the NBA being a strong element in their lives. A lot of the growth is related to the increased number of NBA games these children have seen on television. Previously, there might have only been one NBA game on television in Canada per week. Now, they can get up to 300 games per year on their televisions in Canada. With the advent of teams in Canada, it’s a lot easier for Canadians to experience the NBA in a way that they couldn’t have 20-years ago,” MacKenzie explained.

Explaining the role that increased access to NBA games on television has played in the growth of basketball’s popularity in Canada, MacKenzie also notes the importance of properly structuring media deals. ”In a country like Canada that is geographically big, it starts by having the right media deals in place. We do it in conjunction with the Raptors to have the right kind of broadcast footprint in place,” he said. Yet, MacKenzie and the NBA recognize that having a television presence isn’t enough to convert Canada’s youth into fans. ”What we are finding, is that given our strength among youth, you can’t just be on television. It’s about doing deals, whereby you have products in play that allow fans to consume the NBA on their phones, tablets and digital devices,” MacKenzie noted.

On top of media deals, the NBA focuses upon bringing its product directly to Canadians across the country. Through the NBA Canada Live series, the league plays a handful of exhibition games in Canadian arenas outside of Toronto each year. “The long-term vision is to try and take games on the road, so if you live outside of Toronto, you can experience the real life NBA experience,” MacKenzie said.

Interest in basketball and the NBA will only grow after Canada’s basketball dream saw its Cinderella-like fairy tale come true in 2013. Bennett’s number-one draft position punctuated an NBA season which saw eight Canadian-born players on rosters and college basketball’s top-recruit, Canada’s Anthony Wiggins, signing with the Kansas Jayhawks. Pairing these factors with the fact that the NBA saw a 19-percent increase in Canadian viewership over the last year, the league believes that it is on very solid footing in Canada.

Where then, does NBA Canada from here? Current NBA commissioner David Stern has repeatedly noted as of late that the league will not expand in the near future. Thus, save for a team relocating, it is unlikely that Canada will see another NBA team call the country home. As such, much of the country’s focus will be on supporting the Raptors, whom MacKenzie notes are “Canada’s most favorite team” and supporting individual players, like the LeBron James’, Dwyane Wade’s and Derek Rose’s, whom MacKenzie notes are “some of the most popular players in the country,” as tracked through sales of the players’ licensed products and jersey sales. The country’s basketball success in the 2016 Olympics will also fuel continued interest in the sport. Finally, how players like Bennett and Wiggins–who will likely enter the NBA within one or two years of playing at the NCAA level–perform in the NBA will further drive Canadian interest in the sport and league. Overall, MacKenzie sums up the state of basketball in Canada when he says, “From a future NBA perspective, we are really excited.”
How Basketball Overtook Hockey As The Most Popular Youth Sport In Canada - Forbes

jeffb 07-14-2013 02:04 PM

Sorry, this probably belongs in the Canada Basketball section. Can someone change that? thx

zxcvbn193 07-14-2013 03:38 PM

Within 5 years I believe Canada has a chance to be a really good at basketball and having a strong National Team that would compete in World Championship's or olimpics.

It's not going to be easy though, but Canada has a good young core that will improve over years which would be great to see and maybe in a 10 yr time they could play USA not to put best effort, but to win.

XiaominWu 07-14-2013 07:08 PM

If our best players play for the national team, Team Canada will be really good. History suggests that they will often find reasons not to. We'll see.

jeffb 07-14-2013 07:38 PM


Originally Posted by XiaominWu (Post 808295)
If our best players play for the national team, Team Canada will be really good. History suggests that they will often find reasons not to. We'll see.

These guys seem to be saying they will play. But yeah, time will tell.

LET'S GO RAPTORS!!!!! 07-14-2013 10:05 PM

Good news I guess

jeffb 07-14-2013 10:07 PM


Originally Posted by LET'S GO RAPTORS!!!!! (Post 808363)
Good news I guess

You guess..? lol

Windex 07-15-2013 09:02 AM

Hockey is a lot more expensive to play. that was a big reason why I played basketball as a kid.

jeffb 07-15-2013 09:13 AM


Originally Posted by Windex (Post 808497)
Hockey is a lot more expensive to play. that was a big reason why I played basketball as a kid.

Yeah, my mother as a single parent put in baseball @5yrs old because it was all she could afford. I didn't play organized hockey until I was 9. It's also just a lot easier, every school has basketball courts, many parks have courts. Join a gym there's usually basketball courts. And the demographics in urban cities continue to become more diverse which reflects what sports are being played.

jeffb 07-15-2013 10:01 AM

The future looks bleak for Canadian minor hockey | Toronto Star


Enrolment in Hockey Canada teams is currently 572,000 players, down more than 200,000 from its peak. And the prospects are grim. In the next decade, some say there could be 200,000 fewer kids playing the game. Yet Hockey Canada remains apathetic to the injury problem.

A major overhaul of minor hockey is needed in Canada ó and soon. A detailed, systemic investigation of the issues confronting minor hockey is crucial.
The average annual registration and participation cost is about $1,500, according to the RBC survey; some families simply canít afford this. Local availability of facilities and resources can also be an issue.

rapsmannn 09-02-2013 04:08 AM

I think basketball in youth has been that way since the early 2000's, with the internet and more games getting air time on national tv, if your interested in watching basketball it's easier to find on tv, also channels like tsn, sportsnet, and the score at the time who was a huge and under rated basketball channel

now its just players coming out of that environment with the real first wave of players in Tristan Thompson, and Corey Joseph followed by Andrew Nicholson as the second wave followed by the third wave of nba talent in Anthony Bennett and Kelly Olynk

it seems like every year there is another Canadian kid getting drafted

also I would like to point out that a lot of American hockey players come to Canada to develop there game in the CHL, well the same can be said about Canadians going south to develop their games in basketball, so I don't see anything wrong with going down south to improve your game if you feel that's the route you need to take to improve your game, everyone is different some need to stay at home and some need to leave to improve

jeffb 07-09-2014 10:54 AM


@PRGolfWriter @DavidEbner @tomhawthorn
soccer & basketball combined now have 2x organized players under 18 as hockey, about 9x baseball.

XiaominWu 07-09-2014 01:58 PM

yes, and me and michael jordan combined have 6 championship rings.

that stat is grossly skewed by the massive numbers of 3-6 year-old kids playing timbits soccer.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:54 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright RaptorsForum.com 2005-2011

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24