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For the Love of the Game: March Madness 2022 and Basketball as a Gateway to Success

Mar 15, 2022 10:00AM ● By Nana Ama Addo

( Photo by Mídia from Pexels )

For many inner-city youth, basketball is a gateway to access achievements, opportunities, and a better life. In 2015, Derrick Z. Jackson reported that Black men at Division I (DI) universities were over 13 times more likely than white men to be on football or basketball scholarships. 

Basketball scholarships at institutions offer athletes from underserved communities the chance to succeed, and exposure to development, team-building skills, strategy and employment opportunities, and professional leagues like the National Basketball Association (NBA). Last month, the NCAA published a report that discovered the home cities of most DI basketball players included New York, New York, Chicago, Illinois, Houston, Texas, and Philadelphia, PA. 

Some community organizations recognize the potential for basketball to transform the lives of youth, with organizations like Philadelphia Youth Basketball providing mentorship through basketball. Attending basketball games can be inspiring catalysts for troubled inner-city youth.

The 2022 National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, also known as NCAA March Madness, will occur from March 15th to April 4th. March Madness, an annual event, is an exciting time for basketball fans and aspiring basketball players. 

The Philadelphia Big 5, the 5 schools in Philadelphia known for basketball, are LaSalle University, Villanova, St. Joseph’s, Temple University, and the Pennsylvania State University. This year, the veteran-winning Villanova University’s Wildcats team will definitely be playing in the March Madness tournaments. The complete list of the 68 teams that will be competing this year will be listed on March 13th. 

( Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma'aji from Pexels )

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March Madness tournaments will include five rounds of tournaments: the “First Four”, where four games determine which eight teams advance to the first round, the “First and Second Round”, also known as the subregionals, regionals, also known as the “Sweet 16” and the “Elite Eight”, and the “Final Four”, where the final four teams compete for the championship. The First Four will take place in Dayton, Ohio. The First and Second Rounds will be held in Buffalo, New York, Fort Worth, Texas, Indianapolis, Indiana, Portland, Oregon, Greenville, South Carolina, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and San Diego, California. Regionals will take place in San Antonio, Texas, San Francisco, California, Chicago, Illinois, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Final Four will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Learn more about the March Madness bracket/schedule here

The March Madness ‘East Regional - Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games in Philadelphia will take place from March 25th to March 27th at the Wells Fargo Center.

Learn more about purchasing a March Madness ticket in Philadelphia, or in other states, here

Works Cited

 Nana Ama Addo is a writer, multimedia strategist, film director, and storytelling artist. She graduated with a BA in Africana Studies from the College of Wooster, and has studied at the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Nana Ama tells stories of entrepreneurship and Ghana repatriation at her brand, Asiedua’s Imprint ).

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