For most of our readers, basketball is not just a sport, it's a way of life.
We watch it, we embrace it, we debate it but most importantly: we love it.
Most countries in Europe and indeed the world have the funding possible to make basketball grow into the specticle that it is. It is currently the fifth most popular sport in the world and is watched by thousands in arenas along with millions on television screens.
In Great Britain, basketball fans have been left reeling as UK Sport decided not to fund basketball in the country at an elite level due to a "zero chance" of medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016. While the chances are slim, many will agree that the growth and potential is there to make basketball a noticeable sport in years to come. Yet, the agency have wrongly decided to fund sports that have necessary funding already and they have pumped money into sports that have medal chances in four years. The sports that are already deemed as "reasonably popular" such as athetics, which got £26,824,206 (32,777,570 euros), equestrian received over £17million (20.7million euros) and rowing, which got £32million (39million euros). The sports chosen are on the whole, expensive to maintain and are all mainly well funded in the first place.
Sports that have potential, and this includes sports other than basketball like handball and table-tennis meanwhile are relegated, despite potential and a growth in participation.
This article (blog, or whatever you want to call it) though is about basketball. Not only have UK Sport decided to effectly destroy years of hard work by not just the staff of British Basketball but the players also. Luol Deng, Jo Leedham, Andrew Sullivan, Julie Page, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and everyone else have worked tirelessly to make Great Britain a competitive nation in tournaments and the staff have promoted the game with the help of national newspapers, well-known websites and broadcast media, such as radio and TV.
The potential was there to grow, but UK Sport have killed it off. British Basketball have appealed the ruling, which will be decided at the end of the month.
Basketball on a grass-roots level will not see much improvement, either. Through to 2017, Sport England have only been given £6million (7.3million euros) in funding for basketball. The second most participated sport at grass-roots level behind football. A low figure and basketball simply can not live off it for this five-year period.
So I'm asking the basketball public of Great Britain to help us give the future generations something to shoot for.
I do fear that because of our narrow-minded government that Eurobasket 2013 will be the last time you will ever see Great Britain. This petition is to help basketball at a grass roots level in the country. It's the starting block that our sport needs. Can you help us?
The link to sign the petition is here. If you are a basketball fan, and you want to see it grow further, then sign the form linked at the bottom.
TalkBasket supports basketball in England because we are basketball fans. Rivalries should be put aside as we are thinking about the sport that unites us; and that's basketball. If you know anyone in England that can help; please direct them to this petition page.
Here is the LINK to help basketball in England.
(Unfortunately, only UK citizens can sign this petition)