THIS SIDE OF TOWN

COMMENT:

The repetitive thud of basketball hitting pavement is the constant soundtrack to our lives these days.

And probably the neighbourhood in close proximity too.

With basketball heading towards becoming the most popular sport in the country, my boys are all over this bandwagon.

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The number of young Kiwis taking up the sport is growing rapidly. In the past three years, the number across the region has nearly tripled, from around 5000 to more than 14,000.

As well as an increased connectivity with the American NBA competition, we have Kiwi Oklahoma City Thunder star Steven Adams - whose success acted as an example for younger New Zealanders to follow - to thank.

In fact, I have Steven Adams to thank for my 13-year-old son reading his first book. Yes, until recently, not one of my children had completed a novel. How they can be my children, I don't know!

Steven Adams during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on March 13. Photo / Getty Images
Steven Adams during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on March 13. Photo / Getty Images

He received Steven Adams' My Life, My Fight for his birthday and just couldn't put the book down, even putting himself to bed early each night to continue this gripping read.

Every evening, when I went to say goodnight, I would have to listen to a detailed description of each chapter, to the point I now have it in my bedside book queue.

And like many children's hobbies, basketball is not cheap. There's all the NBA label gear the son ''has to'' have, the fees and then the trip to Melbourne in July to play representatively.

He lives and breathes the sport and, when he's not playing at both school or home, he's studying it on his phone.

And now that his younger brother has joined the school miniball team we have basketball training and games consuming time five days a week.

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But I'm not complaining. Like many parents, I see basketball as a safer alternative to heavier contact sports which my children have played over the years, plus I like both watching and playing it myself.

The oldest is always begging me for one-vs-one games and, I must say, it's super good fitness.

The only trouble is, he's now so good I end up frustrated at his ability to intercept the ball and block my on-point shots and it usually ends with me storming off court in a mock (ok, not so mock) rage.

And it would be strangely silent without the staccato thudding outside, and the sound also announcing their respective arrivals home from school way up the drive long before they come into sight.