It is difficult for me to pick one topic when I think about my country and sports. We tend to excel at almost everything. But, I would like to write about the land of basketball because it’s my favorite sport and I don’t miss any game, no matter if it’s a local or international game.
Land of Basketball is everywhere in the world
Many consider a Serbian national team’s basketball team to be a direct descendant from the Yugoslavian team. Even though I was not born during the golden age of Yugoslavian basketball, I grew up hearing about their game. It was a popular saying at the time: “The Americans Chain Basketball Net invented it, but the Yugoslavs perfected it.” Vlade Divac was one of my idols as a child.
All the Serbs and our sportsmen cherished cheering. As far as I can recall, the tradition of greeting sportsmen has been around for as long as I can. They are always welcomed on the Parliament’s main balcony, which is followed by music and celebration.
Sport is great because it brings people together. Everyone gathers to watch important games. We do it sometimes at home, which is my 84-year-old grandma. Other times we go to the city centre and meet up with friends. It makes you feel proud to see your athletes fight for the medal, just as if it were you there.
Last year, I had the opportunity to work with Serbia’s Basketball Federation. They organize the Belgrade Tournament every year, which provides great opportunities for basketball players to play against other teams. Last year, we hosted teams from Russia, China, and Venezuela. As the attache to the Venezuelan and Chinese teams, I was able to witness all practices and games in person. It was a wonderful experience.
Venezuelan national land of basketball team
I am counting down to the Olympic Games in Brazil this summer and wishing that I will one day be able to participate in such an incredible sporting event.
What was the beginning of it all?
If you dig deeper into the history of basketball, you will find that the sport was created at Springfield College in 1891. James Naismith was a graduate student who created a fitness class for men just finishing their football season. Naismith created a basketball game that can be enjoyed by all ages, using two peach baskets and a ball.
Now, college basketball is the most lucrative NCAA sport, generating $867.5 million in TV and marketing revenue. In 1946, professional basketball players started playing for the Basketball Association of America. The league we now call the National Basketball Association comprises 30 professional basketball teams.