Brazilians excel on the basketball court just as much as they do on the football pitch. A professor by the name of Augusto Shaw first introduced basketball to Brazil in 1896. After that time, many small clubs began to spring up in Brazil, and by 1912 they had a national team ready.
Ever since basketball’s rise to popularity in the early 1900’s, Brazil has been fielding impressive teams to international competitions where they are no strangers to podium finishes. The Basketball World Cup was first held in 1950, and Brazil has been one of the only two countries that have attended every time. Most recently, Brazil won gold in the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship and gold in the 2007 Pan America Games.
Brazilians have also made a career in playing basketball. You will find Brazilians playing in the NBA such as Nenê with the Washington Wizards and Leandro Barbosa with the Golden State Warriors. Brazil’s most famous Basketball player however has to be Oscar Shmidt. He is unofficially the all-time leading scorer in the history of basketball with 49,737 career points. He also has the record of the longest career span of any basketball player. His prowess is cemented in Brazil with his nickname Mão Santa or Holy Hand.
As for the teams in Brazil itself, the crowd favorites are Franca from São Paulo and Flamengo from Rio de Janeiro.
The defining feature of Brazilian basketball is the boldness of its coaches. The main man was Togo Renan Soares, nicknamed Kanela after his white hair. His vision is what brought basketball from a side sport, to rivaling football in the national spotlight. Currently there is a league system for different clubs to compete in, similar to the league system of football.
Brazilians love a good game of basketball, though truthfully, basketball will never rival the fever that football inspires in Brazilians, but it does come in at close second.