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Wanna Be in the NBA? It Helps to Grow Up Rich

Wanna Be in the NBA It Helps to Grow Up Rich Sociological Images


Part of what makes professional basketball appealing, for kids who love to play as well as fans, is the idea that a person can come from humble beginnings and become a star.  

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz crunched the numbers to find out if the equal opportunity story was true.   Analyzing the economic background of NBA players, he found that growing up in a wealthy neighborhood (the top 40% of household incomes) is a “major, positive predictor” for success in professional basketball.  Black players are also less likely than the general black male population to have been born to a young or single mother.  So, class privilege is an advantage for pro ball players, just like it is elsewhere in our economy.

Stashed in: Basketball, Economics!, Wealth!, America!, Poverty, So you're saying there's a chance...., Sport

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This is sad but it parallels many of the other forms of inequality America faces today.

And actually, looking at the numbers, your chances are BETTER if you're poorest than if you're middle.

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