Women’s basketball declines nationwide


photo or infographic by Summer Rains

During a game of the 2022 season, junior Kaleigh Kibbey moves the ball down the court.

What is happening to women’s basketball? 

Earlier this month the National Federation of State High School Association released showing girls’ basketball has lost 19% of its players in the last 20 years.  With sports like track and field, volleyball and soccer gaining participation, girls’ basketball programs are losing players nationwide through middle schools, high schools, universities and even professional leagues. 

On a local level, basketball has decreased so much that the freshman team for the 2022-2023 school year is in jeopardy of being non-existent. There are barely enough girls to fill a varsity and jv roster to compete, and now they need other young women to join the program. Tryouts for the team are Oct. 19 and are open to all girls. 

“Players leave this game because of favoritism or just losing the love for the game they used to have,” junior varsity point guard Jazleen Pulido said. “Basketball girls are like a family. Even though we argue, we will always be there for each other whenever we need it.” 

Basketball is still a sport filled with people that love the game, but players are leaving due to that loss or because of favoritism amongst other sports that portray a different image for them. Basketball is also experiencing a decline because many athletes are specializing in just one sport rather than playing multiple sports. Club teams require year-long commitments, causing girls to drop basketball to focus on softball or volleyball. 

“I know a senior from last year who had to leave the team to focus on her grades to be able to graduate high school,”  Paulino said. “Playing basketball helps me cope with whatever I’m dealing with and gives me something else to focus on.” 

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, basketball is just seen as a sport less girly. Compared to the tennis skirts and spandex shorts of volleyball and running are just better for instagram and other social media.

“Some people see basketball as a ‘boys’ sport, they don’t see it as a girl sport,” sophomore Jalynn Feller said. “But, we work out to help build us in order to hold ourselves accountable to goals.”

Basketball is bigger than just technique and shooting the ball. It is filled with a family that surrounds each player with the comfort and support they need. 

“I would say staying in basketball is better because you have all of those people around you supporting you and using basketball to have an emotional release,” Feller said. “Although the decrease in people is causing us to run our teams shorter than years past, I continue to play because of the enjoyment of the game and the family that comes along with it.”

If you are interested in trying out for the basketball team, contact Coach Abercrombie.