Basketball is actually a relatively new sport. Compared to other games like soccer, it has not been around for that long, but it continues to grow. It has long been the favorite of American sports fans, and the NBA is watched by millions every week of the season, but now there are plenty of other countries watching the teams we know and love from the US, or their own teams in their own leagues.
American sports are undeniably growing in popularity all over the world. Gambling has certainly helped with this growth, and competitions like the NBA and NFL are known all over the world as providing some of the most exciting ways to bet. More people are searching for NFL betting picks and NBA tips as they watch the sports from all corners of the globe.
There are new leagues such as the EuroLeague helping to drive the popularity of basketball in other countries, and stars of the sport coming to play in the NBA having made their name in other countries, including the young icon Luka Dončić, who is from Slovenia.
So, which are some of the countries where basketball is popular?
United States of America
We couldn’t ignore the country where the sport was invented and continues to be the pinnacle of playing basketball. This is where we have the All-Star Game that every basketball player in the world surely wants to be involved in.
Basketball is watched by millions in the US. Surveys have shown that 11% of the huge US population have claimed that basketball is their favorite sport, which means that over 20 million Americans love watching the sport. This is backed up by participation figures, as 26 million people play the sport at some level in the States.
The US will always be synonymous with the sport and it is definitely the place where basketball is best known, but the sport has spread throughout the world.
It makes sense that those in neighboring Canada would watch the sport, but this is now helped by the fact that they have their own team, the Toronto Raptors, taking part in the NBA.
In fact, they won the championship just a few years ago, which meant that even more Canadians were turned on to the sport.
As a fun fact, though the sport was invented in the US, it was actually a Canadian, James Naismith, who came up with the original idea.
Spain is mad about soccer. So, you might not think that it is a country where basketball has taken off, but actually, the sport is pretty big there. There’s a Spanish Basketball League called the ACB, which is very competitive, and some football teams actually have sibling basketball teams.
Historically, Pau Gasol has been an iconic star of Spanish ball, and has won two NBA Championships. Now, Juancho Hernangómez and Willy Hernangómez, who may be known from the recent Adam Sandler movie, Hustle, are flying the Spanish flag in American sports.
With such a huge population, it is almost inevitable that some Chinese people are into the sport. Actually, the NBA is very popular and there is a growing number of people watching the sport.
This has been helped by the fact there is a CBA league, run by the Chinese Basketball Association, and it is estimated that there are as many as 500 million Chinese people who have taken part in some form of basketball in school or through their hobbies.
Yao Ming was a huge icon of the sport, and he played in the NBA with the Houston Rockets. His debut saw an estimated 200 million Chinese people tune in to watch how he performed.
Americans introduced the sport to the Philippines back in the 20th century, and the sport became absolutely massive, with its own basketball association created in the 70s. In 1954, they finished third in the FIBA World Cup, and the sport has grown to be the most played sport in the whole country.
The sport is played at a pro level in the Asian country, and people tune in in their millions to watch the American version of the sport on television.
There are many more countries where basketball is popular, and still growing. Russia, Serbia, Croatia and a variety of other European countries, as well as Argentina and Brazil, all have a high level of interest as well as professional teams playing the sport.