Every country has its favorite sports which are a part of the popular culture and help perceive the society values (Nimijean 1). In Canada, the central place has always been occupied by hockey. However, the latest tendency shows that people start getting much more interested in basketball. While some people consider the business strategy to be the primary reason for such trend, others believe that the rising interest in basketball is connected with the changing Canada.
Despite the fact that the game originated in Canada, it took a long time for basketball to become popular (Marcin par. 6). A recent Canadian Youth Sports Report states that basketball currently occupies the third place among the youth team sports, preceded only by hockey and soccer (Marcin par. 14). Canada’s vice president of NBA, Dan MacKenzie, considers such state of things “a golden era for basketball” in the country (Marcin par. 13).
The motto of Canada’s team Toronto Raptors “We the North” inspires the fans and the players (“We the North”). This team has brought basketball in Canada to the new level as it is the country’s only NBA representative. Moreover, Toronto Raptors put Canada back on the map for basketball fans in the whole world. This fact especially concerns the US since basketball is very popular there.
There have been several causes of the game’s growing popularity. The major reasons are connected with the arrival of NBA in Canada in 1995, the victory of Vince Carter’s Dunk Contest in 2000, and Bennett and Wiggins becoming number one draft picks in 2013 and 2014 (Zillgitt par. 2). The less apparent, but still significant, causes include the improvement of coaches, the increase of baskets accessible for play, the influence of the web, the advancement of the Amateur Athletic Union policies, and Canada’s dynamic and considerate attitude to the players’ progress (Zillgitt par. 3).
Masai Ujiri, the general manager of Toronto Raptors, says that with the team’s growing popularity, Toronto has become “a basketball town” (Gatehouse par. 3). He remarks that the success of the players makes the young children want to repeat their accomplishments. He also mentions that the increasing achievements of the Canadian basketball players change the resistance of the US-born sportsmen to sign in Canada (Gatehouse par. 6). Ujiri also notes that the fans’ support is a crucial factor for the team’s progress (Gatehouse par. 18).
Canada’s future achievements in basketball rely on the success of Toronto Raptors (Wolstat par. 1). The profound “flow of talent” allows the country to keep up with the world, but the sportsmen should not stop trying their best (Wolstat par. 9). The former Toronto Raptors president, Bryan Colangelo, emphasizes that the team’s ratings still are not high enough, and thus more hard work is needed (Wolstat par. 14).
The fans, the players, and the professional critics all have various approaches to the game, but everyone agrees on one point. In order to maintain the success and popularity of basketball in Canada, a lot of hard work is demanded. On the part of the government, additional costs are required. On the part of the fans, support is needed. And on the part of the players, brilliant tactics and strenuous everyday efforts are expected. As basketball has become a new trend in Canada’s popular culture, every effort should be taken to develop and keep its success.
Gatehouse, Jonathon. “Masai Ujiri on How Basketball Is Becoming Canada’s Game.” Maclean’s. 2016, Web.
Marcin, Tim. “Toronto NBA All-Star Game 2016: Canada’s ‘Golden Era’ of Basketball.” International Business Times. 2016, Web.
Nimijean, Richard. “Sport in Canada.” CDNS 1001 Lecture, n. d., Carleton University.
“We the North.” YouTube, uploaded by Toronto Raptors, 2014, Web.
Wolstat, Ryan. “Basketball in Canada Getting Stronger by the Year.” Toronto Sun. 2016, Web.
Zillgitt, Jeff. “We the North: How Hoops Became Popular in Canada.” USA TODAY Sports. 2016, Web.