Without them, professional basketball would not exist. Fans bring a good part of the financing of this universe by buying game tickets, team products, but also by watching games on TV (most often by having a paid subscription to a sports channel). Knowing that TV rights are the No. 1 source of income for the championships, the importance of the presence of fans in gyms and in front of their screens is huge. If in the United States the students are full supporters of their college team during and after their studies in an American university, it is completely different in Europe. The fans of a European club come primarily from the city of residence of the club and its surroundings. The number of students in an American university is also generally much higher than the fans of an European basketball team. The attitude of the fans in the stands is nevertheless more or less similar in NCAA and in the European competitions. Spectators encourage their team through applause, drumming and singing/musical compositions, and also try to destabilize the opponent with noise (whistles, howls, etc.) mainly.
In order not to tarnish their image and / or the one of their employer (ie their team), and on the contrary, to increase their popularity rating, the players must as far as possible to satisfy the majority of requests from the fans. But what are they consisting in?

« Fans want to shake your hand, want you to sign autographs and take selfies with them », just answers Jeremi Booth.

His compatriot Toddrick Gotcher details a little more those remarks. « Usually fans love to get the pictures first. They post on the social media to let the world know. But autographs are asked from the players sometimes too. Usually after the games are the times they get in contact with us face to face. On social media also there are fans that will message you to congratulate you and bring you joy. Also, when you are in the city, they come up to you to ask for pictures, which brings them joy and wonderful smiles on the face of the kids ».

There are also fans who live for their team. They give everything for them, devote a lot of time and money to it. They make all trips outside to encourage their heroes. « There are definitely die hard fans and I love it. One thing about Europe is that they love their teams here. Whether it is soccer or basketball, they love their teams and represent them at all cost. That is one thing I admire about overseas people », says Toddrick Gotcher.

Frank Hassell also give his experience back. « For sure, basketball is a global game and fans are just as much as part of the lifestyle as the players. Much love to all of the basketball fans. Sometimes, people can be excessive but it’s ok. You rather that than no fans at all. »

Read the full chapter and eBook “FROM USA TO OVERSEAS – All there is to know about the life of American basketball players in Europe”


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