More than basketball: Determining the sport components that lead to long-term benefits for African-American girls

Joyce O. Olushola, D. Floyd Jones, Marlene A. Dixon, B. Christine Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sport participation has the capacity to enhance the athletic and academic performance of adolescents. However, African-American participants have not enjoyed the positive academic benefits that are common among other populations. Sport is a popular developmental intervention for African-American youth, yet sport programs do not always render the intended benefits (Coalter, 2007). The purpose of this study was to determine the components of school-based sport programs that create long-term benefits for African-American girls. A high school basketball program based on positive youth development served as the program site. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with current and former players and program stakeholders. Four key values underpin the success of the program: family, education, discipline, and civic engagement. The results indicate that successful programs need flexible-not standard-design commitment to program values, and consistency in mission and implementation. Implications for the design and implementation of sport programs to improve the athletic and academic performance of African-American girls are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-225
Number of pages15
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic achievement
  • African-Americans
  • Holistic development
  • Program evaluation
  • Sport participation
  • Sport-for-development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


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