Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Kobe Bryant of Netball

April 30th, 2009 · 3 Comments

romeldaaikenMicrokhan’s Australian readers (we have at least two!) may already be familiar with Romelda Aiken’s spectacular exploits on the netball court. She is, after all, the best player on the Queensland Nationals, a lithe and aggressive scoring machine who recently racked up 42 goals in an upset win over the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

The above paragraph may seem like gibberish to Americans, however, unaccustomed as we are to the sport of netball. It’s basically a more static version of basketball, in which dribbling is not involved and the basket lacks a backboard. As lifelong fans of the NBA, we find the sport (played almost exclusively by female athletes) to be somewhat lacking in flair. Yet it’s bigtime in Commonwealth nations such as New Zealand and Jamaica, presumably because it’s been a longtime staple of English-style girls schools. (The sport was thought to be more ladylike than basketball.)

More on the dominant Aiken here. Meanwhile, netball seems to be in swift decline in Indonesia. But the ANZ Championships, in which Aiken stars, claim record attendence. Their tagline? “The Hottest Game in Town.” These blokes might disagree.


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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Gramsci

    I think “netball” is what Bruce Springsteen would have called basketball in “Glory Days.”

  • Sam

    As a man (and an Australian), I can testify that social netball is damn good fun; very hard on the knees, however.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Sam: Thanks for the inside scoop on netball. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to process the no-dribbling aspect, but that’s only because I grew up on basketball. Funny how early sports exposure sets us in our ways.