Graduate School of Business


Master of Science in Sport Management (MS)


Laura Hatfield


Puerto Rico, Women’s Basketball, Experiences, Perception


Sports Management | Sports Studies


In Puerto Rico, little is known regarding how female collegiate and professional basketball players perceive and experience their playing participation. The population of girls playing basketball has experienced recent increases. However, the culture in Puerto Rico has yet to embrace the participation of female basketball athletes. Attempting to address the void in scholarly literature, this study explored female athlete participation perceptions in competitive basketball within the Puerto Rican sport culture. The investigation implemented a qualitative approach using a phenomenological methodology to form descriptive themes. Data was obtained from 14 female basketball athletes, of which 10 were student-athletes, and four were professional players. Participants were purposefully selected, and the interviews were conducted via telephone. Findings revealed six themes relating to how female basketball athletes perceive and experience their participation in basketball in Puerto Rico. The themes established are the following: (a) Athlete Perception, (b) Benefits of Basketball, (c) Experiences in Basketball, (d) Motivation, (e) Puerto Rico’s Sports Culture, and (f) Puerto Rican’s Society’s view on Women’s Basketball. Recommendations for further research include: (a) investigate with other universities outside the metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico and adjacent municipalities, (b) investigate middle school and high school female basketball players to gather information about their social interactions and mindsets affect their participation in basketball, and (c) explore the perception of the general population of college-aged students and their views regarding women’s basketball.