Basketball was invented by a Canadian American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States. Basketball evolved to become one of the world’s most popular and widely viewed sports in 1891. Currently, only thirty-one (31) players make it through to the National Basketball Association (NBA) every season. Before a Basketballer is recruited to the NBA, college coaches look at four areas of the prospective athletes’ life which are: academics, athletics, attitude and character. Even though all these are very important; a prospective athlete’s academic profile is much more important. Coaches take a keen look at the academic profiles of student athletes who want to be recruited as basketball players.

Some Basketball Coaches shared their insights on recruiting the right player with CoachUp, a venture-funded startup company that connects athletes with private coaches. They said that recruiting the right player goes beyond hard work, practice and natural talent, even though that is also important in helping a player develop true greatness in basketball. However, in achieving success in the sport, the traits they listed were; awareness, confidence, a strong mind, desire to get better, determination, passion, being mentally tough, being coachable, the will to prepare to win and making your teammates better. Which can all be identified in Kevin Pauga index’s analytic theory – the combination of data and algorithms that help improve and predict the teams’ success and also helps track the performance of basketball players.

Kevin Pauga’s theory has helped in the assessment of basketball players not only in skill but also in the range of numerical data, from scores of every game to how many times a player touches the ball per game. All of which can be cross referenced and tabulated to find patterns and correlations, helping the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) selection committee pick teams for its tournaments. HR Analysts in organisations can adopt this method when compiling and analyzing HR data and making recommendations relating to hiring and retaining staff.

Even though there may still be a need to maintain the traditional way of recruiting, selecting and retaining staff, Kevin Pauga’s theory breaks down the process, making it easier and quicker.

Basketball is an enjoyable sport; it keeps you in suspense especially with the rivalries and drama on the court and off the court. Not only is basketball exciting, but there are some lessons HR Practitioners can learn from watching and analyzing the game. This includes acknowledging good passes and teaching the fundamentals of the game. A good pass in basketball is fundamental to a win. According to HR Daily Analysis, Former University of North Carolina basketball coach, Dean Smith always required his players to point to the person who made the pass that led to a basket. This simple gesture acknowledges the individual who made the pass that allowed a teammate to score. In the world of work, good passes can be likened to when employees do a good job. HR Practitioners should ensure that they acknowledge and celebrate employees when they perform well on a task. This form of appreciation can range from asking the teammates of the employee to give him/her a round of applause or buying them small but meaningful gifts. An acknowledged employee is a happy employee who is likely to become more productive at work. Acknowledging the good works of your employees encourages them to work harder to achieve results and obtain future acknowledgements.

Another lesson HR Analysts can learn from basketball is the fundamentals of the game. The fundamentals of basketball consist of; shooting, defending, dribbling, rebounding and passing. Apart from these, there is also agility, acrobatic ability, speed and endurance, which are also very important. In winning basketball games, a player needs a proper shooting form and a good defense stance. Similarly, to win in an organization, HR Practitioners should endeavor to teach their employees the fundamentals of their establishment which could include organisational policies, procedures etc. Employees are able to perform their jobs with efficiency and productivity when they know the do’s and don’ts of their organization.

From the importance of appreciating your employees when they make a great contribution to the team to teaching your employees the fundamentals of your organization, HR Practitioners and Analysts can learn a lot from the great game of Basketball.