Key Basketball Facts And Figures In 20243 min read

Key Basketball Facts And Figures In 2024<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">3</span> min read</span>
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Basketball has grown from a modest game played in a Massachusetts gymnasium over 130 years ago into one of the most beloved sports worldwide, played in over 200 countries. As the statistics show, basketball continues to flourish; more people are playing and watching than ever before.

An Overview of Basketball Popularity

●   Basketball is estimated to be the second most popular sport globally
after soccer. Over 867 million people tuned in to watch the top basketball leagues and tournaments in 2022.

●   In the US, 18% of Americans identify as avid fans of the game while 27% consider themselves casual fans as of 2020.

●   14% of US children aged 6-12 play basketball regularly as of 2019, down from 16.6% in 2008. Surveyed households spend an average of $427 annually on basketball expenses per child.

Basketball Participation by Gender

●   82.6% of pro basketball players in the US are men. Comparatively, 79% of pro soccer players and 98% of pro baseball players are male.

●   Women basketball players earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. This pay gap mirrors that of the general US population.

●   By ethnicity, pros are predominantly white (78%), followed by Hispanic/Latino (7.2%), Black/African American (6.8%), Asian (3.9%), and American Indian/Alaska Native (0.4%).

Notable NBA Player Statistics

●   At 7’9”, Sun Mingming (China) is the world’s tallest pro basketball player. Former NBA player Muggsy Bogues was the shortest at 5’3”.

●   Heaviest player was Oliver Miller at 380 pounds. Lightest on average are point guards at 190 pounds.

●   José Calderón (Spain) holds the record for best free throw percentage in a season (98.1%).

Key Basketball Facts And Figures In 2024

●   Moses Malone has the most offensive rebounds in NBA/ABA history with 7,382.

●   LeBron James is the only player to tally 10,000+ points, 10,000+ rebounds and 10,000+ assists. He has scored over 37,000 career points.

Basketball Salaries and Team Values

●   The average NBA salary is $9.49 million. However, the median sits at $4.92 million given the skewing impact of top player salaries.

●   27 NBA players have earned $200+ million over their careers. The highest paid is LeBron James, with career earnings over $430 million including endorsements.

●   The average WNBA salary for 2022/23 is $103,000, compared to the multimillion dollar salaries typical of the NBA.

●   At $5.8 billion valuation, the New York Knicks is the most valuable franchise despite on-court performance. Revenue mostly comes from Madison Square Garden events.

●   Top earning college team is the Louisville Cardinals men’s program, which brought in $42.8 million in 2018/19 including women’s basketball.

Basketball Game Viewership

●   An average 12.4 million Americans watched the 2022 NBA Finals, up from 9.91 million in 2021 but below the 1998 record of 29 million viewers.

●   Only 534,000 viewers tuned in for the 2022 WNBA Finals on average.

●   NBA viewership grew 19% year-over-year
across ABC, ESPN and TNT to reach 1.6 million average viewers per game in 2021/22.

Injury and Participation Statistics

●   Lower extremity injuries are most common in the WNBA, responsible for 76% of games missed from 2015-2019. Ankle sprains were the leading type of injury.

●   UCLA holds the record for most NCAA March Madness wins at 11 championships from 1939 to 2022. Kentucky places second with 8 wins.

Key Basketball Facts And Figures In 2024

●   In 2020, the Syracuse Orange men’s team had the highest NCAA average home attendance at 22,000 fans per game. Total paid attendance peaked in 2013 with nearly 800,000 tickets sold.


Over 130 years later, basketball remains one of the most popular sports worldwide. Viewership and participation continues trending upward thanks to basketball organizations expanding their reach and appeal. The future looks bright for this beloved game invented so many years ago using peach baskets in a Massachusetts gym.