Global popularity, NBA players fuel growth of basketball in Australia

When many people think of basketball they automatically think of the NBA.  That’s because the NBA is one of the biggest professional sports in the United States, it’s growing rapidly internationally, and the is the unquestioned league in terms of talent.


Basketball is on the rise in a number of countries around the world, and one of those countries is Australia. Currently, he most popular team sport down under is football followed by Australian rules football, then netball and cricket. From there, basketball is picking up the pieces but coming up quickly.

Coupled with the growth of the sport globally, basketball quickly grown in popularity in Australia thanks to  several Aussie players with visible roles in the NBA. The likes of Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Andrew Bogut and Ben Simmons are big names in the NBA and they all hail from Australia. In fact, Simmons and Bogut were the number one picks in their respective NBA Drafts.

We must also credit the growth in the sport to their domestic association, the National Basketball League (NBL) and to the tutelage of Aussies that went on to play in the NBA, Euroleague and other leagues around the world.

It’s things like the above that help to shine the spotlight on the sport and that then goes someway into increasing its popularity within a country. It’s fair to say that Australians really do love basketball. According to statistics supplied by sports betting operator Unibet; it is actually estimated that right now, 1 in 3 Aussies take an interest in the sport with over one million playing the game on a regular basis. Basketball is also the second highest sport when it comes to participation in Australia.

The National Basketball League was founded back in 1979 and since then it has seen hundreds of thousands of people attending games and not only that it’s covered by the likes of Fox Sports and Sky Sports. This only serves to make more people aware of basketball and when they see how popular it is or when they see top Australian players playing on the NBA stage it makes more people want to get involved in some way.


You could also say that the release of basketball video games such as NBA2k and NBA Live, as well as basketball orientated games at online casinos, only help to satisfy the demand for anything basketball related within Australia. The video games are extremely popular as they allow players to play with their favourite players as well as playing competitively online too.

There are plenty of reasons why Aussies have a growing love affair with basketball and the more the spotlight is on the sport for the right reasons, the more the demand and passion surrounding it will increase.

Take the Olympics in Rio back in 2016.  The Australian team finished 4th, winning 5 of their 8 games. Reaching the semi-finals equaling their best ever finishes and was something to be proud of and another step in the right direction. On top of that, the recent news that an NBL team, the Melbourne United, was one basket away from defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder. The United lost by just one point, 86-85 in preseason play.

The culmination of all these factors has made the sport boom for the Boomers of  Australia.

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