10 Countries where basketball is most popular

Countries where basketball is most popular

As a die-hard basketball fan, I’ve always been fascinated by the sport’s capacity to capture audiences from all over the world, regardless of geography or culture. Join me on a tour through the top ten basketball-dominant countries, diving into the complex tapestry of traditions, rivalries, and achievements that define the global basketball scene. Here is a list of the top 10 Countries where basketball is most popular.

From the storied courts of the United States to the rising basketball hotbeds of Eastern Europe and beyond, we’ll discover the distinct essence of each country’s basketball culture and celebrate the unifying power of the sport we all love. So grab your jersey and lace up your trainers as we go on an exciting journey through the world’s most popular sport, one country at a time. Let the balling commence!

Countries where basketball is most popular

RankingCountry Name
8Puerto Rico
6Bosnia & Herzegovina
5Dominican Republic
10 Countries where basketball is a popular sport

10. Slovenia is the 10th Country where basketball is the most popular sport.

Basketball in Slovenia has grown in popularity over the years, confirming its place as one of the country’s favourite sports. Slovenia has produced exceptional talent, including NBA great Luka Dončić, despite its small population of just over 2 million. The sport’s popularity is demonstrated by extensive involvement at all levels, from grassroots to professional leagues. Slovenia’s national basketball team has also had tremendous success on the international scene, winning medals in European Championships and even a historic gold medal at the FIBA EuroBasket 2017.

This victory not only increased the sport’s popularity in the country, but it also drew attention and admiration around the world. Slovenians have a strong enthusiasm for basketball, as seen by their enthusiastic support for local clubs and the ongoing expansion of youth programmes aimed at developing the next generation of basketball stars.

9. Spain is among the Countries where basketball is most popular.

As I delve into the world of basketball in Spain, I am impressed by the sport’s widespread popularity. Basketball is the second most popular sport in Spain, with a competitive local league, Liga ACB, regarded as one of the best outside of the United States. The league is home to major teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona, which have historically been the most successful and have a large fan base. The sport has a solid infrastructure, with a heavy emphasis on developing players’ all-around ability, which has resulted in a consistent stream of excellent players making it to the NBA.

There have been 18 Spanish players in the NBA, including famous names such as Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, and Ricky Rubio. The country’s basketball tradition is firmly ingrained, dating back to 1921 when a priest created the first team in Barcelona. Today, basketball is a popular sport in Spain, with a large following and a prominent representation in international contests such as the Olympics and EuroBasket.

8. Puerto Rico is the 8th-ranked Country where basketball is the most popular sport.

Basketball has a special position in Puerto Rico’s sports culture, capturing hearts and minds all around the island with its exhilarating pace and passionate gameplay. Basketball, which has a long history stretching back to the early twentieth century, has grown in popularity and is now one of Puerto Rico’s most cherished sports. The island has a strong infrastructure of courts and leagues, which supports a thriving population of players of all ages.

Puerto Rico’s national basketball team has also received international recognition, playing fiercely in competitions such as the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Olympics, instilling national pride and rallying fans in ardent support. The sport’s popularity is further demonstrated by the numerous local tournaments, filled stadiums, and broad youth engagement in basketball programmes, cementing its place as a staple of Puerto Rican sports culture.

7. Philippines is the 7th Country where basketball is the most popular sport.

Basketball is without a doubt the most popular sport in the Philippines, with a rich history reaching back to the early 1900s, when it was introduced by American colonists. The Philippines is the world’s third-largest basketball market, with 81% of the urban population claiming to be fans and nearly half being avid fans. The country has produced numerous exceptional players who have made an international impact, including Carlos Loyzaga, who led the national team to victory in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), founded in 1975, is Asia’s first professional basketball league and the world’s second-oldest after the NBA. The Philippines’ passion of basketball is reflected in the profusion of courts throughout the country, with improvised courts appearing even in the smallest of areas. The sport’s accessibility, entertainment value, and reflection of Filipino culture have all contributed to its widespread appeal. The impending 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which the Philippines will co-host with Japan and Indonesia, is expected to be a watershed moment for the basketball-crazed country.

6. Bosnia & Herzegovina is among the Countries where basketball is most popular.

Basketball maintains a particular place in Bosnian hearts, having become a cultural phenomenon that is firmly interwoven in the fabric of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Basketball has a long history stretching back to the Yugoslav era, and it has persisted in this Balkan nation despite the stormy times. The sport gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s due to the success of the Yugoslav national team, which featured Bosnian stars like Dražen Petrović and Toni Kukoč. This accomplishment created a passion for the game among Bosnians, resulting in a profusion of basketball courts around the country.

Basketball is still one of the most popular sports in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with fervent supporters filling venues to support their local teams in both domestic and international games. The country continues to generate excellent players that excel on a global scale, solidifying basketball’s place as a popular sport in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia & Herzegovina is among the Countries where basketball is most popular
Bosnia & Herzegovina is among the Countries where basketball is most popular

5. Dominican Republic is the 5th-ranked Country where basketball is the most popular sport.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing the Dominican Republic’s robust sports culture, and basketball is undoubtedly a big part of it. Basketball is currently the country’s second most popular sport, with a professional league, the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto (LNB), which has thrived since its creation in 2005. The league includes six teams from various locales, and the final series is best-of-seven. Notably, the Dominican national team has produced outstanding achievements, winning the Centrobasket championship in 2004 and 2012, as well as a bronze medal at the 2011 AmeriCup. The country has produced noteworthy NBA players, like Al Horford, Francisco García, and Karl-Anthony Towns, who have made significant contributions to the sport.

4. Greece is among the Countries where basketball is most popular.

Basketball has been extremely popular in Greece, particularly after the country’s national team won the European Championship in 1987. This victory inspired an obsession with the sport that has yet to subside. The team’s following success, including a silver medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and a second European Championship in 2005, cemented basketball’s role in Greek sports culture. Today, Greece is regarded as one of Europe’s most successful basketball nations, with its national team consistently ranking among the world’s top five. The Greek Basket League is also one of the best in Europe, with several Greek clubs winning major European championships, including AEK Athens, Panathinaikos, and Olympiacos.

3. Serbia is the 3rd Country where basketball is the most popular sport.

Basketball is a renowned sport in Serbia, firmly rooted in our culture and sporting past. The country has a long tradition of basketball excellence, with devoted fans filling arenas throughout. Serbia’s love of sport is obvious in its spectacular achievements on the international scene, where it continually produces top-tier talent revered around the world. Serbia’s basketball skill is recognised globally, with icons like Vlade Divac and Dražen Petrović, as well as modern-day talents like Nikola Jokić. The sport’s appeal spans decades, with children growing up copying their stars on improvised courts around the neighbourhood. Basketball, with multiple local leagues and a strong participation in European events, remains a unifying force in Serbia, woven into the fabric of our national character.

2. USA is the 2nd-ranked Country where basketball is the most popular sport.

As I think about basketball’s popularity in the United States, I’m impressed by its amazing expansion and ongoing appeal. Basketball, invented by James Naismith in 1891, swiftly gained popularity in the country, becoming a collegiate sport within a decade and finally a professional league with the founding of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949. Today, basketball is one of the most popular games in the world, with the NBA attracting millions of fans each season. The United States Olympic men’s basketball team has won a record 16 gold medals, while the women’s team has won nine, demonstrating the country’s dominance in the sport. The NBA’s popularity has likewise skyrocketed, with attendance records smashed in the 1980s and the league continuing to grow overseas.

1. Lithuania is the top Country where basketball is most popular sport.

Basketball is more than simply a sport in Lithuania; it is a love that is deeply ingrained in the culture. With a population of just under three million, Lithuania has produced an astounding number of basketball players, making it one of the most basketball-crazed countries in the world. Since obtaining independence in 1990, Lithuania has consistently outperformed its peers on the international basketball stage, winning bronze medals at the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympics. The Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) is the country’s primary domestic league, with devoted followers nationwide.

Furthermore, the Lithuanian national team has a rich history, with accolades for its fierce competitive spirit and tactical prowess. Basketball courts can be found in almost every neighbourhood in Lithuania, and the sound of bouncing balls and screaming fans fills the air. Basketball remains a unifying factor at all levels, from grassroots to professional leagues, bringing communities together and creating a strong sense of national pride.

Lithuania is the top Country where basketball is most popular sport
Lithuania is the top Country where basketball is most popular sport

Where is basketball popular in the world?

Basketball is very popular all over the world, with large followings in many places. Basketball is particularly popular in the following countries:

  1. United States: Basketball is strongly ingrained in American society, with the NBA (National Basketball Association) being among the most popular sports leagues in the country.
  2. Spain: Spain has a thriving basketball culture, with a strong professional league (Liga ACB) and several successful clubs. The Spanish national team has also had tremendous success on the international scene.
  3. China: Basketball has grown rapidly in China, propelled by the popularity of the NBA and the success of Chinese players in the league. The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) is one of the most popular basketball leagues outside of the United States.
  4. Philippines: Basketball has a unique place in Filipino hearts, with enthusiastic supporters cheering on both local leagues and international competitions. The Philippines has a strong basketball background and has produced a number of excellent players.
  5. Lithuania: Lithuania is well-known for its excellent basketball culture, which places a high value on young development and has a track record of international success.
  6. Serbia: Basketball is extremely popular in Serbia, which has a strong domestic league and a long tradition of producing outstanding athletes. The Serbian national team is constantly competitive on a worldwide scale.
  7. Greece: Greece has a dedicated basketball fan base, a strong domestic league (Basket League), and a track record of success in European club championships.
  8. Turkey: In recent years, the Turkish Basketball Super League has grown in popularity, and Turkish teams have performed well in European events.
  9. Argentina: Basketball is extremely popular in Argentina, with a strong professional league (Liga Nacional de Básquet) and a track record of success in international tournaments, including Olympic medals.
  10. France: France has a robust basketball environment, with a competitive domestic league (LNB Pro A) and a strong national team programme that has won European and international championships.

These are only a few examples; basketball is popular in many more countries around the world, each with its own distinct basketball culture and traditions.

Which countries watch the most NBA?

Determining the specific countries that watch the most NBA can be difficult because to issues such as audience measuring methods, time zone differences, and the availability of broadcasting rights. Several countries are known to have high NBA viewership:

  1. United States: As the NBA’s home nation, the United States naturally has a large number of NBA game viewers, with millions tuning in on a regular basis to watch their favourite teams and players.
  2. China: China has developed as one of the NBA’s major overseas markets, thanks to the popularity of top players like Yao Ming and Yao’s pioneering admission into the league. The NBA has made significant investments in expanding its presence in China, including staging preseason games and forming agreements with Chinese media businesses.
  3. Philippines: Basketball has a special place in Filipino culture, and the NBA has a large fan base in the Philippines. Filipinos are enthusiastic fans of NBA games, players, and teams, with many tuning in to watch live broadcasts despite the time zone difference.
  4. Canada: With the existence of the Toronto Raptors, Canada has a sizable NBA fan base, particularly in Toronto and throughout the country following the Raptors’ historic championship win in 2019.
  5. Brazil: Basketball is extremely popular in Brazil, and many Brazilians are avid NBA fans who avidly follow the league’s games and stars.
  6. Spain: Spain has a great basketball culture, and the NBA has a sizable following among Spanish fans, who watch games involving Spanish players and teams.
  7. Australia: The NBA has a rising fan base in Australia, thanks in large part to the success of Australian basketball players. The NBA’s popularity has grown in recent years, with Australians closely following their favourite teams and players.

These are only a few instances, but the NBA’s global appeal means that basketball fans from all over the world tune in to watch games, which contributes to the league’s global popularity and influence.

What countries in Europe is basketball popular in?

Basketball is widely popular throughout Europe, with some countries noted for their strong basketball cultures and traditions. Basketball is notably popular in the following European countries:

  1. Spain: Spain has a great basketball history, with a strong professional league (Liga ACB) and devoted fans who support both domestic clubs and the Spanish national team. Spanish clubs have also been successful in European competitions.
  2. Lithuania: Basketball is an integral part of Lithuanian culture, with a long history of success in international events, including many Olympic medals. Lithuania has a good domestic league (Lietuvos Krepšinio Lyga) and a reputation for generating talented players.
  3. Serbia: Serbia has a dedicated basketball fan base and a strong domestic league (the ABA League), with clubs competing at the highest level in European competitions. The Serbian national team is also a force in international basketball, regularly competing for medals.
  4. Greece: Greece has a strong basketball environment, with a competitive local league (Basket League) and enthusiastic fan support for teams such as Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, and AEK Athens. Greek teams have a track record of success in European club competitions.
  5. Turkey: Basketball has grown significantly in Turkey, with a strong professional competition (the Turkish Basketball Super competition) and tremendous fan support for teams such as Fenerbahçe, Anadolu Efes, and Galatasaray. Turkish teams have done well in European events.
  6. France: France has a thriving basketball culture, with a strong domestic league (LNB Pro A) and devoted supporters who support teams such as ASVEL, LDLC AS Monaco, and SIG Strasbourg. The French national squad has also been successful in international competitions.
  7. Russia: Basketball is popular in Russia, with a strong professional league (VTB United League) with top-tier clubs such as CSKA Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg competing in European championships. Russia has also produced talented players who have achieved success both domestically and internationally.
  8. Italy: Italy has a lengthy basketball history, with a competitive local league (Lega Basket Serie A) and devoted fan bases for clubs such as Olimpia Milano, Virtus Bologna, and Reyer Venezia. Italian teams have had success in European competitions, like as the EuroLeague.

These are only a few examples, but basketball is popular throughout Europe, with each country having its own distinct basketball culture, leagues, and fan rituals.

Is basketball popular outside the US?

Basketball is popular outside of the United States, with a large following in numerous nations. In fact, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world.

Several reasons contribute to basketball’s popularity beyond the United States:

  1. International Competitions: Events such as the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Olympic Games highlight high-level basketball and draw fans from all over the world.
  2. NBA: The National Basketball Association (NBA) has a tremendous international following. Its games are broadcast in a number of countries, and international players have emerged as stars in the league, expanding its global appeal.
  3. Local Leagues: Many countries have their own professional basketball leagues that draw local talent and fans. The Liga ACB in Spain, the EuroLeague in Europe, and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) in China are all well-regarded.
  4. Youth Participation: Basketball is a popular sport in schools and communities worldwide. Its simplicity—it simply requires a ball and a hoop—makes it a popular choice for both recreational and competitive play.
  5. Cultural Impact: Basketball has entered popular culture through movies, video games, and social media, enhancing its exposure and appeal around the world.

Countries with passionate basketball fan bases and significant basketball traditions include China, the Philippines, Lithuania, Serbia, Spain, and Australia. Overall, basketball’s global popularity is growing, with millions of fans tuning in to watch games and follow their favourite teams and players from all over the world.


Looking at the list of countries where basketball reigns supreme, it’s clear that the love of the game transcends borders and cultures. From the basketball-crazed streets of Lithuania to the courtside enthusiasm in the United States, each country on this list has a distinct basketball culture that reflects the spirit of competitiveness and friendship. Whether it’s Serbia’s powerful displays, Spain’s exquisite finesse, or the Philippines’ underdog perseverance, basketball serves as a common language that unifies fans all around the world.

As I think about this varied squad, I’m reminded of the significant influence this sport has on communities around the world, instilling perseverance, teamwork, and a shared love of the game. These top ten countries truly embody the heart and soul of basketball’s global phenomenon, demonstrating its enduring legacy and unwavering popularity on the international scene.


For making this list we used the help of Google Trends. If you want you can check each country’s basketball popularity by searching about them on the Internet. You can use various Internet tools to verify this.

Tell us what you think about this ranking of the top 10 Countries where basketball is most popular. If you find any mistake with our ranking or the post you can comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic. Share your perspective by leaving a comment below, and don’t forget to check out some of the related posts for more information about the most followed athletes from different sports on social media.

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Question and Answer

In what country is basketball the most popular sport?

Lithuania, USA and Serbia are some Countries where basketball is most popular.

How popular is NBA in the world?

The NBA is usually considered as the world’s premier professional basketball league, with a large international fan base and a significant impact on the sport.

How many countries play basketball?

Basketball is played in over 200 nations, making it one of the most popular sports in the world.

Is basketball a popular sport in England?

Basketball is not as popular in England as it is in other countries, but it retains a loyal following and is increasing in participation and interest.

Why is basketball so popular in China?

Basketball became popular in China as a result of the NBA’s strategic marketing efforts, Yao Ming’s ascent to prominence, and the sport’s accessibility and attraction to Chinese youngsters.

How many countries watch basketball?

Basketball is watched and played in many nations throughout the world, making it one of the most popular sports.

Where is basketball most popular in Europe?

Basketball is most popular in Lithuania and Spain in Europe, where the sport is culturally and athletically significant, with strong local leagues and top-tier players.

Is the NBA popular in France?

Yes, the NBA is popular in France, with a committed fan base and an increasing interest in basketball culture and league players.

Do other countries watch basketball?

Yes, basketball is widely watched in many nations throughout the world, with leagues, tournaments, and international competitions drawing millions of followers.

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