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Although basketball has been a sport traditionally played in the US, its popularity in the UK is growing quickly with many leagues now been set up across the country and Sheffield is no different. The Sheffield Sharks are part of the 12 team British Basketball League who play their home games at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield which is located a short 10 minute walk from the city centre. Basketball is a high intensity game which works all areas of fitness as you need both stamina and speed to get around the court. Basketball is another great social sport and the UK has adopted the US style ‘pick up’ games where people come together and form casual teams who play against one another.

The great thing about basketball is that you don’t need to be down at one of the many arenas in the city where basketball is played to enjoy the sport. There are basketball hoops located in parks throughout the city so practicing on a daily basis either on your own or with friends is a great way of keeping fit and preparing for those matches when you do get on a full court.

Health benefits

Basketball is one of the best sports for working on your all round fitness and can be played as a casual sport or as part of a competitive team. There is lots of fast-paced running involved as well as jumping and changes of both direction and pace. Basketball is a great aerobic sport that can help to burn calories (playing for just half an hour can burn around 300-350 calories), build endurance, improve balance and conditioning, develop concentration and self-discipline and build up muscle.

It is a game that can be played by people of all ages and there is no set number of players required to start a game of pick-up – you can even play on your own but it is a sport that is great for meeting new people and socialising.

Did you know?

  • The original basketball basket was closed at the bottom; a ladder was needed to recover the ball
  • Basketball is the national sport of Lithuania and Georgia. It is the summer national sport in Latvia, where ice hockey is the winter national sport.
  • Basketball has been in every summer Olympics since 1936. The USA has won 14 times, the USSR twice and Argentina and Yugoslavia once each – get practicing!

You can find Basketball facilities at any of these local facilities: