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The Next Country to Love Basketball: Vietnam

The VBA (Vietnamese Basketball Association) inaugural season is underway. There are 5 teams in the league – Hanoi Buffaloes, CanTho Catfish, HoChiMinhCity Wings, DaNang Dragons and Saigon Heat . Most of the players are Vietnamese with a couple of expats on each team. (just like the CBA). Like a lot of other basketball leagues in Asia, the expats tend to be the big black American players.

Henry Nguyen is the owner of the Saigon Heat and he’s also one of the co-owners of the new MLS expansion team in Los Angeles. The attendance success of the Saigon Heat in the ASEAN basketball league, convinced him to start the VBA. He also launched the first McDonalds franchise in Vietnam.

The most impressive thing is the number of fans attending the games. Although the arenas are small, all the games are sold out. The fans are really into the games.

In-game entertainment includes cheerleaders like their NBA counterparts.

There’s some high-level basketball being played in Vietnam. Take a look at this high-flying dunk: