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Hypothesis: Mathematics and Basketball exhibit Similitude (Part IIIa)

Given information about basketball (what we know):

In its simplest form, basketball is a sport that consists of one team trying to put a sphere through a ring to score more points than their opponent while they also attempt to keep their opponent from scoring.

(pardon me while I state a few passionate thoughts about basketball)

While it shares similarities with other sports, basketball combines the best attributes of other sports into one.  It is fast paced, high scoring, and dynamic.  It requires the most unique combination of strength, speed, quickness, jumping ability, finesse, and mental fortitude along with the precise execution of all of the fundamental skills by all 5 players in unison. Other sports can boast they they have parts of these, but no sports can say they have them all.

(ok now back to breaking down basketball)

Basketball is played at many levels and by various ages whether in some organized form or on playgrounds and driveways across the world. The game is played according to various rules that can change from playground to playground or country to country. There are countless variations on the standard 5 on 5 game from individual competitive shooting games to 1 on 1 and 21.  Regardless, the fundamentals of the sport remain consistent no matter which version of the game might be played at any given time.

The ability to dribble, pass, and shoot the basketball, as well as the ability to defend are fundamental to the success of any basketball player or team.  There are a variety of techniques used in attempts to successfully execute these fundamentals.  Some techniques are generally accepted to be more successful than other, but the technique becomes irrelevant if the desired outcome is achieved.

The game of basketball starts with the position and movement of the feet, even though the ball is manipulated with the player’s hands.  When an athlete can learn how to move his or her feet quickly and correctly in order to achieve proper body position, the other skills can be executed much more easily.  Clearly, it is not enough to only teach footwork. Proper use of the hands must also be taught in order for a player and team to be successful.

Then coaches get to teach players about body position.  Teaching a player how to be in the right place at all times and how to get from one place to another in the most effective way possible is crucial to a player’s success.

Not to mention, it is important for players to get to those correct positions with and without the basketball. As a result, all of the footwork, hand movements, and body positioning must happen quickly, efficiently, and in the proper sequence in order for the player to be most successful.

It should be apparent that the best basketball players are highly skilled athletes.  Years and years of practice go into developing and perfecting the skills necessary to perform at the highest level.  Young children have not yet developed the strength or coordination to be highly proficient at these skills.  As a result, being able to make one lay-up might be an amazing achievement for them.  On the other hand, a professional basketball player should rarely miss a lay-up.

March 7, 2010 at 8:41 PM
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