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Dr. Pearson’s Research Studies Evolution of Ethnic Diversity in Basketball

HHP faculty Dr. Demetrius Pearson's reasearch on “Ethnic Diversity and American basketball: A Socio-Cultural and Historical Analysis” studies the history of the game since its inception to the current day and examines the changes in ethnic diversity in the game through the years.

Dr. Demetrius Pearson

Dr. Pearson is recognized as an expert in African-American involvement in sport, including North American rodeo, as well as their depiction in contemporary sport films. He maintains a repository listing of American sport films from 1930 to 2013. His research focuses on competitive sport forms and fitness administration, as well as the sociocultural and historical aspects of organized sport.

The study extensively reviews the history of basketball, involvement of ethnic players and teams in basketball through the ages of segregation and integration ending with integration in the professional leagues.

The study concludes that basketball has been one of the most ethnically diverse American team sports since its inception even though “Jim Crow laws” inhibited interracial competition in many areas. Basketball has been an American export for over a century and has gained such popularity worldwide, that close to 20% of NBA’s professional players are international.