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Basketball: the social three-pointer


Basketball: the social three-pointer

Sportanddev reflects on how basketball has served as a tool for peace-building and social development and has been trying to make this world a better place.


Basketball is a team sport, the objective being to shoot a ball through a basket horizontally positioned to score points while following a set of rules. Usually, two teams of five players play on a marked rectangular court with a basket at each width end. Basketball is one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports

Visit the website of FIBA to find out more about basketball

Basketball as a tool for development
There are currently many organisations and initiatives trying to bring peace and development through basketball. PeacePlayers International (PPI), for instance, is an innovative global organisation that uses basketball to unite and educate young people in divided and underserved communities, like Northern Ireland, South Africa, Cyprus and Middle East. Other organisations, like Crassover basketball and Scolars Academy, Youth Basketball League Zambia, Hoops 4 Hope and Basketball for Development, are also seeking to bring social development through basketball in many different regions of the world.

Basketball spreading the message of peace and truce
In February 2012 the IOTC launched its collaboration with the Hellenic Basketball League. This collaboration sought to educate and involve the youth in the concept and the aspects of the Olympic Truce. The two collaborating organisations hope that this collaboration will lead to the dissemination of the ideals of Olympism and the Olympic truce.
Visit the website of the IOTC for the press release (available only in Greek)

Basketball promoting health, leadership and education
There are many different programmes and initiatives worldwide that are using basketball to bring social change. Basketball without Borders (BWB), for example, is FIBA and the NBA’s global basketball development and community relations outreach program that promotes leadership, education, sportsmanship and healthy living with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

Since the inaugural camp was held in 2001, BWB has had more than 225 NBA/FIBA players, coaches and team personnel from all 30 NBA teams serve as camp coaches for some 1’000 young athletes coming from over 100 countries and territories worldwide.

Basketball for social inclusion
In 2010 Red Deporte, Fundación Sociocultural de Baloncesto de la Federación Española, Federación de Baloncesto de la Comunidad Valenciana and Generalitat Valenciana organised a Basketball tournament for immigrants in Valencia, Spain. The Basketball tournament, aiming at helping better integration of foreign migrants in Spain, took place in Ciutat de Castello grounds, bringing together residents of the Valencia Region, who originally are from Poland, Iran, the Dominican Republic, Romania, Senegal and the Philippines.

Manual: Fighting AIDS through basketball
There is also a manual published by EduSport Foundation demonstrating how basketball movement games can be a powerful methodology to help young people to learn about HIV/AIDS and other related issues through their active participation. Learning in this way provides a platform that promotes enjoyment, encourages cooperative learning and physically demands the involvement of the participant.

This manual is primarily targeted at basketball coaches/instructors and physical education teachers. The manual can also be of great use to youth peer coaches, to people working with children, and to sports and physical activity leaders.

Find out more about the manual

To recapitulate, basketball is not only about high profile players, scoring and dunking. It is also about bringing people together, raising awareness about social issues and bridging differences and rivalries. And when this happens, we could definitely say "I love this game".


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Vangelis Alexandrakis


Sunday, June 3, 2012 - 23:00