Basketball in Europe

Origin of basketball


Basketball was founded in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith invented in Massachusetts. From there, basketball has developed in the US through various professional competitions such as the ABA (American Basketball League) and the current league, the NBA (National Basketball Association) and the sport has always been played in a uniform format.

Basketball comes to Europe

The first basketball game in Europe took place in 1893 at a YMCA in Paris. One possible reason for the international interest in Europe was that sport was created in an international constitution in the US (Larry Fox, 1974).

How it is played in Europe

European players have changed the way basketball is played. Ever since the emergence of Toni Kukoc, the first established Euro player, they have become known as big basketball shooters, as well as annoying defenders who use their very effective footballing heritage to “act” through their exaggerated downfall, widely known as flopging.

The main aspect of the European game is the unique shooting ability of its big men. Players who now play in the NBA, such as Dirk Nowitzki (213 cm) and Mehmet Okur (210 cm) are both great three-point shooters, something the league had not seen before major players on their biggest stage in basketball.

Basketball has become so big in Europe that they have started a competition called Euro-League. 24 teams from all over Europe play for one season until a team is named Europa League Champion. It is the second largest competition in the world (second in the NBA), attracting players from around the world.

Although not at the level of football, basketball is certainly in-roads on football as possibly the second most popular sports team in Europe.

Competitive with the best in the world

Europe has always posed the most dangerous threat to the vice grip that Americans have on the Olympic gold medal. The Soviet Union won gold at the games in Munich in 1972 and 1980, when the US boycotted the Olympic Games, European teams took the entire medal collection with gold to Yugoslavia, silver to Italy and bronze in the Soviet Union. Most recently, the Spanish team defeated the Americans at the 2002 World Cup (FIBA Europe).

Why so popular?

On a continent that has always been plagued by wars and racial divisions, sport has always had a sinister knack of building bridges, unlike walls (not unlike Berlin). Any popular sport somehow breaks the barriers, because people forget who hates who gets caught up in their own competitiveness. Basketball has and will continue to provide an opportunity for many nations that are or were in uncertain times.


The possible other reason for the popularity of the game in Europe is, like football, you can play it yourself. Many children in Europe and even adults find themselves alone and they are able to improve their skills themselves.

Basketball is arguably the second most popular team sport in the world, but the Europeans have made it to Zielstpross en. They have some of the best players and teams in the world and will continue to produce them over time.