Young players love these basketball games to play

Of the 26.3 million Americans playing basketball, only 1,050 men and 850 women will be battling it out in the NCAA Division I tournaments this year. But, when you consider the total number of people in the U.S. that play basketball and the family and friends that support them, it’s no wonder so many of us are enthralled with the tournaments. Approximately 868 million tuned in to watch the tournaments last year – 683 million viewers tuned in to watch some part of the men’s games and 185 million watched the women’s. 20.1 million viewed the men’s championship game alone in 2011.

SGMA Study shows Basketball is most played sport in US with 26.3 million participants

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Power 2 Play Sports - Youth Basketball Tournaments

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (March 15, 2012) — As we approach the NCAA’s Division I tournaments, America’s love of basketball is evident. While as many as 1,900 players will play in the tournaments this year, over 26 million Americans play basketball (according to the SGMA’s U.S. Trends in Team Sports research). 15.5 million people play casual/pick-up basketball. 4.1 million play in organized leagues. 5.8 million play on a school or college team. More people play basketball in the U.S. than any sport. Baseball, with the second largest group of U.S. participants, is played by 14.6 million people, just 56% of the total playing basketball.

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Perhaps no player is more important to getting results than the center.

Centers need to be physical and tough. They are close to the basket, so they're counted on for high-percentage shots. Their rebounding skills are crucial, and they need to play strong defense to prevent easy baskets by the opposing team. They are the last line of defense and, often, a team's best chance on offense.

If you're the center on your basketball team, you have a unique skill set to work on. So start here -- this is a collection of tips, drills and advice that will help you achieve your maximum potential at an intensely demanding position.

Defense and Shot Blocking

You are the most important defender on the floor because you stand between an opponent and two points. Here's how to make the most of your presence inside.

• : These practice drills will help you better anticipate shot-blocking opportunities.

• VIDEO: -- Strong footwork is the difference between frustrating your opponent and giving up easy points all game long.


Banging around inside offers chances at close-range shots, which your team needs. Here are tips for taking advantage of your size and position.


Play Basketball Legends game that includes famous NBA players

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