One of the many stereotypes surrounding basketball is the idea that the sport is mainly for boys and men. “If you see the difference between the crowds at the guys and the girls games, it’s very obvious, and you can see that everyone gravitates towards watching the guys,” girls varsity basketball team captain senior Amber Fu said. This disparity between fanbases also applies to professional players. “When you hear about the March Madness right now, you hear about the brackets in the news, while you never hear about the girls teams,” Fu said.
Another common stereotype basketball players face is that they have to be tall to play. At a little over five feet in height, Fu often has assumptions made about her. “People expect that if you’re not tall, you have to be super small and super fast, or else there’s no way to get around defenders,” she said. However, through dedication, Fu has been able to figure out what works best for her in-game. “Over time and over practice, you know what works and what doesn’t against players that are bigger than you, and it gets easier, like shooting, dribbling and passing,” she said.
Varsity basketball player sophomore Yotam Elazar has also seen basketball players portrayed as “mindless jocks”—something he knows is not true from experience. “I know that, on behalf of my teammates, they are also doing a very good job of balancing academics and athletics.”
Many also believe that basketball is an African American-dominated sport. Elazar acknowledges that there is truth behind the stereotype, but it definitely doesn’t mean that other people cannot excel at basketball. “Obviously you can see that it’s kind of true,” Elazar said. “In the [National Basketball Association (NBA)] and college, a lot of the players that you see are African American, but at the same time, that doesn’t prevent people from competing with them because there are also a lot of players that are not African American in the NBA who are competing at the highest level in the world.”