“The basketball world is small”
Turcott, Ryan James
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The movement of sport labor migrants dates to the period of industrialization in the 1860s (Magee & Sugden, 2002) and they continue to traverse the globe in contemporary times. Among the sport migrants are highly skilled population that include international student-athletes who migrate to the United States to compete in intercollege athletics. The purpose of this study was to understand influential migration factors and experiences of former international male basketball student-athletes who attended colleges and universities in NCAA (Division I). Data collection methods included semi-structured, open-ended, and qualitative interviews. Sixteen participants participated in this study. Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used in the data analysis. They were interviewed in depth to gain insights into their experiences and to understand factors that influenced their decision-making processes to migrate to the United States. The findings of this study include: a) contrasting educational and sport systems (U.S. versus the country of origin), b) factors that influenced migration decision-making processes, c) adjustment strategies, d) the challenges international basketball players faced in their new environment, and e) life after basketball. Each of these major themes includes several sub-themes.