[quote="PSUdraw, post:2, topic:493"]It is interesting. International players definitely have an advantage with Basketball "high schools" but think its a matter the white kids are just not playing basketball as much as they used to. I do wonder of the percentage of Black are actually "mixed raced" players. The last years number one pick falls into that new group and will see more of them in the future.[/quote]
I would argue that among African-American youth, Baseball’s loss has been basketball’s gain. The number of Blacks playing baseball has been on the decline now for about 20 years, and I would venture to guess that a lot of those kids play more basketball now.
I think the problem with baseball is that it’s too organized, and kind of expensive. I coached Little League, and was President of Babe Ruth in my area. In LL, the tryouts, picking teams, coaches, scheduling fields, practices, etc., it’s a bit much for some families, esp when they have several kids. I’ve seen difficulties with one parent families. If a mom with 3 kids, one playing baseball, has that kid have 2 games and 1 practice per week, how does the kid get there? What does the mom do with the other kids? It’s too much. Going to the playground and playing hoops 1v1, 2v2, etc., much, much easier for the kid and the family. Kids’ sports have become too organized and parent run. Kids playing with kids, no parents involved, esp before the kids reach HS, much better, IMO. LL is too early and too much for many families. If no dad is around, it’s not going to happen in most cases.
Nail on the head kid.
I too am very involved with the local Little League. I live in a very diverse area of Atlanta. And while I see and coach a great mix of kids on the football and soccer fields and on the basketball courts, I don’t see the same mix on the baseball field. In fact, most of the top kids of my son’s age group on the diamond are coached by their dads who are constantly involved in their development as players both on and off the field (practice facilities, batting cages and the like). The one African-American kid who is amongst the top 24 in my sons age group has a dad who is as committed as the rest of the bunch.
I’ve tried to get some of the A-A kids I coach in other sports to try baseball, but it usually comes down to the fact that none of their friends play baseball. And come to think of it, most if not all of the A-A kids who play at the LL park have a dad who is somewhat involved either as a coach or a parent who shows up to almost every practice or game. So they (the dad) certainly have an effect on whether their son plays baseball or not.
As for your other point of kids playing sans parents…My kids are fortunate we live on a street with many kids who will do just that. I can send them out after school and not see them, nor worry about them for 2 to 3 hours. Usually, they will play football, basketball or soccer, but rarely baseball.