Why Basketball is the Best Sport: 14 Intriguing Facts About Its Popularity

What could make 450 million people practice basketball around the globe, be it recreational or formally organized competitions?

Is it the challenge it imposes on the players? The convenience of setting it up literally anywhere? Or perhaps the sportsmanship it builds in its players? Let's find out below. 

This article will explain why basketball is the best sport based on its wide variety of benefits and appeal.

Plus, if you ever had second thoughts regarding how becoming a basketball athlete could benefit you, here is your answer!

Here’s Why Basketball is the Best Sport

Whether you watch NBA basketball or NCAA basketball, it gives you the same adrenaline rush.

But if that's not enough, we have a list of 14 amazing facts that make basketball one of the best sports. So let's dive in.

1. Anyone Can Get in on the Fun

Basketball is for everyone. Children of all ages play it on playgrounds at the elementary school level. Adults, and even disabled people, can also enjoy this game and reap its benefits.


In fact, wheelchair basketball is among the most widely played games among disabled individuals.

The level of skill required to play this game is minimal. You only have to be careful about the rules and learn the rest as you play.

Also, the rules are simple enough, so it would hardly take about two games to have them at your fingertips.

2.Basketball Doesn't Need Finances

For most other games, you need expensive machinery. Ping pong, for example, requires a table; likewise, air hockey requires an overhead lamp, etc. But for basketball, all you need is a hoop and a ball!

To start practicing it at home or with your friends, simply get a portable hoop or mount one in your garage.

However, you may also like some braces, shoes, jerseys, and arm and knee sleeves for proper tournament settings. But that's entirely your choice.

3. Basketball is an Identity-defining Game

In a sport that requires constant communication, chemistry, and teamwork, character-building is inevitable.

It helps players learn how to express themselves to their teammates and control their emotions on the court. It does not let you forget your responsibility to your fellow athletes and your fans - not even for a second.

4. Basketball Is a Calorie-burning Sport

In a single basketball session, a player can burn as many as 300 calories in an hour. If you play an entire game, you can burn up to 747 calories.

Half-court is one of the most popular forms of basketball. Playing for 30 to 45 minutes can help players burn over 500 calories.

These numbers may vary from player to player, as we all vary based on the activity. So, as you're looking to reap the full benefits of your workout, try not to slack off on defense.

This is one of those unique sports that makes the most of a player's time. It's even more exciting to have a group of people because you can play a match with the winners taking home bragging rights.

Related: 12 Physical Benefits of Playing Basketball

5. Basketball is a Full-body Experience

Along with boosting your mental capabilities, basketball is also great for muscle training - it literally offers one-stop shopping for fitness. 

If you're looking for a high-impact workout that includes plyometrics, cardiovascular exercises, and strength training, then basketball is all you need. The good thing is that you don't even have to be a professional to avail these benefits.

basketball best sport

Only jumping around and shooting hoops, or "plyometrics," can do wonders for your body.

6. Every Second is a Thrill

Even though basketball is a relatively short game, it requires great stamina from the players. Performing well in the first quarter doesn't mean you'll win the match.

You need to keep up your energy and spirit throughout. The last quarter, especially, is a total turn-over.

Because basketball is played at such a quick pace, there's a thrill with each blink. The players are always doing something, leaving no dead time for viewers to be bored.

You look away for a moment, and you’ve lost. This is what keeps the spectators deeply engrossed in the game.

7. Achieves Individuality and Leadership

In the world of competition, if teams don't find a way to work together, they're going to lose. The truth is that teams with the best players usually triumph when they can cooperate efficiently.

But in some instances where there is a clear discrepancy in talent, even cooperative attempts can't save the day.

At times, a player's talent alone can overpower a less skilled team, even if they don't have a good rapport with one another. In addition to individuality, the game gives you the chance to lead and help your fellow players step out and take control.

Thus, it enables you to grow in both ways, as an individual, and as a leader. 

8. Constantly Improving Game

Basketball is always a blast because it's constantly getting better.

With new rules, the difficulty of the game also changes. Generally, changes in rules can make it easier for the offense and harder for the defense. But rarely are the rules put in place to make it otherwise.

One of the most interesting changes in basketball was the three-point line. It raised the complexity to a whole new level. Imagine if you couldn't shoot from beyond the arc!


Today's game has evolved and involves a lot of running, jumping, and shooting from beyond the three-point line. If you want to succeed, you need to put in a lot of practice. 

So it will be interesting to see what new changes are made in basketball and how well they are implemented. However, in most other sports, changes are usually controversial and very challenging to implement.

9. Basketball Teaches Values of Patience and Focus

While basketball might seem easy to learn, if you break the rules, you'll end up hurting your team. Thus, memorizing these rules will help you develop self-discipline, self-control, fair play, and concentration.

best sport basketball

The truth is that many great athletes can learn a lot from basketball, no matter who they are or what aspirations they have. If nothing else, staying determined and focused is a lesson worth learning while in court. 

10. Basketball Requires Strategic Vision

Good players think, react, and adapt quickly to the ever-changing situations on the court. They learn how to multitask as they play. As they do so, they train their brains to react quickly to other day-to-day situations too.


Indeed, basketball requires a high level of strategic thinking. That's because you have to make abrupt decisions with speculated outcomes throughout the game. So, if you want to become well-trained in that area, play basketball.

Related: Basketball IQ: What It Means And How To Improve It

11. Bid Goodbye to Stress

Basketball and depression? It might seem like a silly combination, but it makes sense when we look at the reasons why.

Anyone who has ever played basketball can confirm having experienced euphoria after a good game. Even a casual pickup game can be an excellent stress reliever.

Here's a little science behind it. Our body produces a hormone called endorphin. They are "feel-good hormones" that help you regulate pain and stress levels. So the more endorphins there are in the brain, the less stressed you feel. 

When athletes engage in competitive sports such as basketball, their bodies release a significant number of endorphins. This helps reduce their stress level and improve their mood.

All in all, basketball does more than help you burn calories. Instead, it also helps you exercise your mind and spirit. 

12. Promotes Social Well-Being

Good conversations with the right people can help relieve stress. When we engage in discussions with those who share the same thoughts, we can reduce some of our mental strain. 

Every year, millions of fans throw themselves into a frenzy of discussion as they argue about numerous topics related to local and international basketball games.


Such stimulating conversations are also a great time to bond with your peers and develop new acquaintances. 

The mix of stress and excitement in these discussions can help our minds be more alert and focused. Therefore, people discuss basketball at such an intense level that you would think they have relatives on the court.

13. Ensures Cardiovascular Well-Being

Basketball is deeply related to cardiovascular fitness. It improves your heart and lungs’ strength and pumping power and keeps your blood pressure at an optimum level. It tremendously helps you be fit while reducing your risk of developing heart disease.

Basketball works as a legit anaerobic exercise, which makes it even better than running. The short bursts of activity such as those involved in basketball may require as much stamina as continuous exercises such as running.

But with basketball, you get a lot more fun and thrills too.

14. You Can Play Alone

If you're looking for a sport that will help your body stay fit without requiring too much time on your part, basketball is an option you should consider.

As an added benefit, basketball is fun and can be played by people of various skill levels. But if you want some alone time, basketball still has you covered. Play it alone or in a group; the fun never goes away.

In fact, the benefits of pickup basketball are much more than simply working out in a gym. Basketball is an activity that you can relish alone or with your friends.

Hence, you don't necessarily need another human to enjoy the game. It can simply be you challenging yourself.

Conclusion: Why Basketball Is the Best Sport

Basketball is an excellent game for developing poise, building self-confidence, and learning to win and lose with dignity.

Each season of basketball brings more challenges and setbacks, but we can't give up hope. That's why some of the best players in the world turn it up a notch, and some of us finally break down and join a rec league. 

We all want to be winners, but sometimes failure is inevitable. Basketball is a sport where winning doesn't always matter; what matters is the journey and the lessons we learn.

Winning is great, but sometimes not winning can teach us more about life than winning ever could. So when one plays basketball, it's not about winning or losing; it's about learning and enjoying.

You might also like: 15 Interesting Facts About Basketball That May Surprise You

Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast