Basketball remains the favorite sport or activity among American kids, and the National Basketball Association is their favorite sports league, followed by the National Football League and Major League Baseball, according to a study conducted by Sports Illustrated For Kids.
Women’s basketball leagues are also making strong inroads among kids, with 68 percent awareness of the Women’s National Basketball Association, according to the omnibus study commissioned by Sports Illustrated For Kids, which is part of a continuous monitoring of children’s attitudes, interests and behaviors.
Research is conducted four times a year in 12 markets across the United States.
In other study findings:
* Keith Sweat emerged for the first time as a favorite R&B performer and the Spice Girls appeared as the favorite pop group. Alternative music improved its rating among kids, moving up to a close third place, largely due to the rising popularity of No Doubt and Rush.
* Tiger Woods has become a prominent sports figure for kids, with 78 percent of boys and 65 percent of girls aware that he is a golfer and three in 10 kids saying they watched him play in the Masters golf tournament.
* Michael Jordan is kids’ favorite professional basketball player, while Shaquille O’Neal takes second and Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman are virtually tied for third. The top three favorite professional basketball teams are Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets.
* Wayne Gretzky came out on top as kids’ favorite professional hockey player, followed by Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are kids’ favorite professional hockey team followed by the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars.