Introduced to Britain by the YMCA in 1892, basketball is now played by 300,000 people (over the age of 16, at least twice a month) in the UK, and is becoming increasingly popular with teenagers, with 1 in 4 playing at least once a month. I interviewed Alexander (17), a student at Reigate College and a member of the basketball team there.


Q: How long have you been playing basketball and when did you start?

A: I’ve been playing basket ball since I was 14, so 3 years.


Q: How did you first get started?

A: I’m not sure it might have been when one day I went to the park and played basket ball with my friends and thought this is fun, you know, I want to get good at this.


Q: Did you have any struggles trying to find clubs?

A: I looked very hard trying to find a place to play but I couldn't really find anything in the local area. One day my dad saw some people at a session on a Saturday morning and so I went and joined that and it helped kicked things off.


Q: What did you do next?

A: After more searching online I found a session not too far from me. For the first couple of weeks the session wasn’t on and I started to become doubtful if it existed. But then on my final attempt going there the session was on. It was good we played basket ball for 3 hours every Sunday with a good coach.


Q: What was the first team you joined?

A: Well, during my time in secondary school, a friend (who shared the same passion for the game as I did) and I were interested in getting our school to play some matches. I went online and found that there was a national school league. Sadly we had missed the deadline to enter, however I decided to email them anyway just in case. To my excitement they decided to let us join the league. We found some other people in our year who were interested in playing and we got ourselves a team. We would train together every Wednesday. Although sadly for most of us this was our first time playing competitively and so we lost all but 1 match.


Q: How did you get onto the Reigate college basketball team?

A: Well, I already knew the coach for the college because she is the same coach who coached at sessions I went to on a Friday and a Sunday. From her I found out that there would be trials for the team during the summer holidays. So I went to the trials during the summer, where there was about 20+ people. Some were very good, some not as much. Thankfully I was good enough, and so got selected for the team.


Q: How is the season going for you so far?

A: Our first match was a massive win for us, and it really helped the team get to know each other better. It felt like we were going to go far this season. However this was not the case, after a few more games, is started to realise that as a team we have quite a few problems, and so this means that we have only won another 2 games, and lost about 6. As for me personally, I am playing much better than last season, having averaged above 10 points a game, and scoring a personal best of 16 points one match. It may not be that much, but it feels like progress to me.


Q: How often do you train a week now?

A: Currently I play 6 days a week, or about 13 hours a week.


Q: How do you feel you have benefited from basketball and how do you feel others can benefit from the sport?

A: Basketball has given me something to do and look forward to do every day. I stay active and healthy whilst having fun. Its really helped make friends as well, as most of my friends I know through basketball, which is great. It’s helped me learn many skills such as teamwork and leadership. I feel that people who get involved in the sport have an easy way to stay fit whilst having fun, and from playing the game they benefit from joining a massive community of others who are passionate about the game.

By Jasmine Hadouka-Taylor