Basketball abroad versus in America
January 19, 2022
As a result of growing up in London, I was used to a small but growing basketball culture. From the venues, rules, and players, there are many differences between American and British basketball.
Some of the biggest differences I have noticed between basketball in England and America are the facilities and venues available. In the U.K, the only courts available would have cold, rock hard concrete flooring, old and broken rusty hoops, and multiple lines on the court for sports such as netball and badminton.
Another aspect which is different from American high school basketball is the rules. The amount of time you have to play in the U.K. is 4 quarters of 12 minutes, whereas here it’s 2 halves with 18 minutes in each half.
Trying to get access and watch high level American basketball in England is a very difficult task. This can be for reasons such as region restricted channels, time zones, and more.
The world of basketball was introduced to me by my father. He played professional basketball for 15 years across Europe and I was lucky enough to go see some of his last games at the age of 4. Ever since I began playing basketball, he’s been my coach whenever I’m practicing or on the floor.
I started playing competitive basketball at the age of 6, I would always play 1 grade up as I was determined to improve my skills and get better. My dream has always been to play basketball in America, the ultimate goal being Division 1 level basketball.
Participation, popularity, and fan base are all low but are slowly increasing for the sport of basketball in England.
Furthermore, the amount of money invested into the sport in the UK is almost non-existent, therefore making it more difficult for the sport to survive or keep up with the other local sports.
The amount of money and investing that has been made into the sport in America is shocking to me. As most, nearly all venues I have visited so far completely overcome England in terms of the quality of the hoops, floor, building, and much more.
I have also experienced a difference in the style of play. These differences would include more athletic players which furthermore results in the ability to take harder shots and make the speed of play faster and more fluent. There is also more intense defensive effort, along with more intensity on the offensive end.
Overall, the possibility for me to travel to a different country and witness, participate, and support the sport of basketball and the different variations in holds is something that I’m very grateful for.