Dr. Raymond Arsenault, Ph.D. Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
“The game of basketball has been everything to me. My place of refuge, place I've always gone where I needed comfort and peace. It's been the site of intense pain and the most intense feelings of joy and satisfaction. It's a relationship that has evolved over time, given me the greatest respect and love for the game”-(Michael Jordan). Basketball has captivated the hearts and minds of people since its creation over 130 years ago. The sport allows players to showcase their natural athletic abilities in a unique and unprecedented way. In contemporary times the pinnacle of the sport of basketball is the National Basketball Association, a professional league comprised of the worlds' most talented and gifted basketball players. From its founding in 1946, the NBA has undergone much change. Rules, styles of play, and the general culture of basketball have changed dramatically over the years. Such changes have not only affected the game itself, they have also affected the world and its people. One of the most impactful changes that the NBA made was its inclusion of African Americans in 1950. This may seem strange considering roughly 80 percent of players in the NBA are African-American today. Desegregation had dramatic effects on the game of basketball and the NBA1. This change contributed to social change in America as well as forever reconstructing the very fabric of the game itself.
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Walker, Roger, "Crossover: Race and the Changing Culture of the NBA" (2014). USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate). 171.