Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

The National Basketball Association and its influence on youth basketball

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Josiah Marr and Cody Boucher

We grew up watching the NBA and, now more than ever, we keep track of teams and players.

Even though youth basketball participation rates are on the decline in both Canada and the US, the NBA has a strong influence on fans of all ages, particularly youth.

Examples of negative influences

Youth watch NBA players neglect simple rules like traveling and want to do the same thing. The NBA would do well to adjust their rules to suit the rules that are overlooked in order to clarify with developmental aged basketball that the fundamental rules are still important.

The most skilled college basketball players leave college before completing their education thus setting poor examples for youth. Education is important and youth need to be taught that it should be pursued before financial gain.

In every basketball game there are fouls called, often NBA players react inappropriately to the calls that they don’t like which is a bad example to fans.  For example, Rasheed Wallace had over 300 career technical fouls (so he’s not a great role-model).

Fighting in NBA games is one of the worst examples for youth basketball (so don’t fight kids!)

There are many examples of high profile NBA players setting bad examples for fans. From Gilbert Arenas and his gun antics, to Lattrell Sprewell “being a choking hazard”, the examples leave a stain on the sport of basketball.

Examples of positive influences 

NBA players serve as role models. Youth look up to their favorite players and the majority are good role models.  Knowing that people who came from the same background as you make it to the big leagues can help some kids through tough situations.

Education is also an important influence. For example Vince Carter is a positive role model as he went to UNC, left to join NBA, then went back to finish his degree because of a promise to his mom.

NBA Cares is a program that allows coaches and players to give back to the surrounding communities.

NBA Cares

Steve Nash youth basketball camps are all over Canada. These camps help kids learn basic skills and give them an opportunity to play basketball.

Steve Nash basketball

LeBron James – I Promise represents a promise made between 3rd graders and LeBron for them to do well in school and be respectful while he promised to be the best role model he could, on and off the court.


iHoops is a website run by the NBA and NCAA where athletes can share strategies to help youth learn skills and proper ways to train/practice.



In the end the NBA has a huge influence on youth basketball. Some negative incidences have a tendency to stick out like sore thumbs for the NBA. However we believe the NBA has an overall positive influence on youth basketball. The league’s efforts to grow basketball in North America and around the world coupled with each player’s attempts further the sport of basketball in their home cities results in a positive influence on youth basketball.

Don’t worry Christmas will be back next year!



One thought on “The National Basketball Association and its influence on youth basketball

  1. Nice post about Sports Studies. Thanks for sharing.


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