Saturday, April 15, 2006

Good News: Basketball in the Philippines

Good news can be a bit offbeat, and I believe this story qualifies. This is the first time I'm linked to a piece published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, but bear with me while I explain why it's worth your time to check out.

This story, which I found via the NCAA's blog Double-A Zone, is about the experiences of a Northwestern University graduate who received a prestigious Fullbright scholarship for travelling to the Philippines--to study basketball.

If you think that's a bit out of the way to go for hoops since we have plenty here in the good 'ol US of A, you would be correct. Rafe Bartholomew, the journalism graduate who is undertaking the study, feels it is worth the trip. The game of basketball is described in the story as "a national obsession" where players are "elevated to a godlike status."

Bartholomew says "It's a part of people's lives at really every level of society here. It's no different than studying religion." He also believes that basketball's grip is greater in the Philippines than in the United States, something I would have never imagined.

The story also tell us that "The most devoted followers are groups of transvestites who attend every game, their unbridled enthusiasm tolerated, even secretly embraced, by the most macho of players."

Yeah, NOW you want to read about hoops in the Philippines, don't you?


At 11:14 PM, Anonymous NYC Coach said...

Hey, I just read an article in today's (friday, 4/21/06) New York Times Sports Section about basketball in the Philippines, by the same guy who's writing the blog. Those Filippinos are nuts--the pro league hires a guy for a few games, and if he doesn't put up Jordan numbers & win, then they ship him & hire somebody else. Some system, we ought to try that here! Ha! It sounds like a much crueler reality over there than here.


Post a Comment

<< Home