Basketball in Ireland

Why Basketball Is So Popular In Ireland

Basketball has not only grown in popularity in Ireland but throughout the entire world.


There are plenty of reasons basketball has become so popular in Ireland. Below, we will be going over some reasons.

Reasons It’s Popular:

1. Pat Burke

It was the year of 1997 when Pat Burke became the first Irish-born player to play in the NBA.

Throughout his career, he managed to not only play for the Orlando Magic, but he also played a couple of years for the Phoenix Suns.

He won (4) different championships across various leagues throughout Europe and he even won a championship in Russia.

Pat paved the way for basketball to skyrocket in popularity because a lot of people were proud that he managed to achieve the feat of playing in the NBA and on a global stage.


2. National Basketball Arena in Dublin

This serves as the headquarters of basketball in Ireland and it receives a good amount of national attention.

It is used to host primarily basketball events and it has led to a lot more interest in the sport.

This is where the Ireland men’s national basketball team plays it’s home matches and while they haven’t been able to make it to the world stage, they did reach the Summer Olympics in their history.

3. NBA Broadcasts

Ireland is beginning to broadcast more and more games on television. This has led to a country-wide surge in interest in the sport.

A lot more people are able to access NBA games and see how competitive and fun to watch they are. More people having access to these games is leading to more people looking for them and more interest in the sport itself.


4. Cheap Barrier To Entry

One of the reasons a lot of people become interested in basketball worldwide has to do with it being a very inexpensive and affordable sport to play.

Unlike other sports where you need a lot of equipment and things to get started, you only need access to a basketball and a hoop.

The hoop doesn’t even have to be a real one. It can even be an improvised hoop. Therefore, there is not much of a barrier to entry to get involved with the sport.

5. Michael Jordan

You could say this about any country. Michael Jordan’s popularity and the NBA Dream team’s global presence in the 1992 Olympics ignited a lot of interest in basketball in virtually every country throughout the world.

Michael Jordan was and still is a global icon that automatically gets people interested in the sport.

Michael Jordan is not only a basketball icon, but he is also a fashion icon.

6. Easy To Learn

Basketball is a sport that is very easy to get into and learn, but difficult to master.

These are typically the sports that you see grow at a fast rate. After all, it has a lower barrier to entry.

Likewise, it doesn’t require a certain number of players to begin a match/game. You can begin playing by yourself or with a couple of other people.

It being a very easy sport to get into has led to a growth in interest in basketball throughout the globe.

Basketball Growing Fast As One of Ireland’s Most Popular Sports

While it’s still not the most popular sport in the country, it is quickly growing. More and more people are becoming not only interested in watching it, but also in playing it.

It is a sport that doesn’t require a large upfront investment and it can be very fun to play and watch.

It would only take one or two more players to make their way to the NBA for the sport to really explode in popularity throughout Ireland.