British Basketball Chairman Nick Humby: “We need to give British basketball the profile it deserves”

July 29, 2016

Basketball is one of the biggest sports in the world, from the USA to Spain, Argentina to Lithuania, there is a strong passion for the sport from various corners of the globe, spurred on by one of the great global sports franchises – the NBA.

This is something that, so far, has not been reflected in Britain. With minimal media coverage, funding issues, failure to qualify for the last men’s European Championships and the women’s team struggling in their 2017 Eurobasket qualification campaign.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, with the British Basketball League agreeing to show the men’s and women’s league fixtures on the BBC Red Button and Online service. Meanwhile, Team GB’s men get their Eurobasket qualification campaign underway in a fews weeks and the British Basketball Federation officially take control in October. But for typically a major player in international sport – Britain has fallen far behind.

iSportconnect spoke to BBF Chairman Nick Humby who is leading the charge to change that:

“It’s a sport that is underrepresented in the media and in it’s profile. It’s a big sport, a team sport, lots of kids play it, lots of over 18s play it, and we have to bring this all together under this one vision for the sport and help build it and give it the profile it deserves.”

“Around the world basketball is a massive global sport but that hasn’t achieved that in Britain. We have the opportunity to build that now, by working together, we can build this sport to where it should be.”

The British Basketball Federation itself is a new organisation, having taken over from the devolved country basketball associations – England, Scotland and Wales. It’s a legacy from British basketball’s entry into the Olympics in 2012 – and many see it as an important step to get the sport more recognition.

To achieve that, the league system in England is looking to expand it’s media reach with the new BBC deal – having previously launched an OTT platform BBL TV – it appears the more traditional broadcast route is now what they believe is the best way to push the sport to the next level.

Humby continued: “For the men’s and women’s games, it is a big step forward for the sport. We are looking to build on that and get more exposure: whether it is streaming, or broadcasting the sport, because after allthat is what will bring people back into the event. The kids who play it need to see the game being played.”

It’s going to be an interesting period over the next few years for British basketball, but with qualification matches around the corner and arenas to fill, the future starts now:

“It’s going to be a slow process, we have to raise funds to invest in our strategy and build on that. The first big chance to show that is in September for the men’s qualifiers for Eurobasket 2017, a great opportunity to showcase the sport and show why the sport should be bigger in this country.”

Tickets are available for the GB Basketball Eurobasket qualifiers HERE.

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