Professional Migration from the United States to Europe: Composite Vignettes of Black Male Basketball Players from Underserved Communities

Robert Book Jr, Natalia Stambulova, Kristoffer Henriksen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To explore how the intersectional perspective of being a Black male from an underserved community shaped the professional cultural transition of American basketball players to Europe. Design: and Method: The seven Black male athletes, who met the criteria of playing at least one year in a professional European basketball league and spending their formative years in an underserved community in the USA, participated in this study. Life story interviews, lasting between one and 2 h, were analysed through the principles of narrative analysis. Creative non-fiction was used to represent the findings in the form of composite vignettes using the words of the participants to create an evocative and meaningful experiential reconstruction. Findings: The analysis uncovered three primary themes; steppingstones to becoming a professional basketball migrant; from America to Europe: a whole new world once again; and “don't bother to unpack your bags:” from ups and downs to settlement plans. Within these themes, the intersectional identity of being a Black male from a poor community underpinned the storyline. Conclusions: All seven participants left their underserved community at some point during their teenage years, and this transition into a more affluent, White dominated society proved beneficial for the move to Europe. Further, the shared intersectional identity of being an African American male from a low socioeconomic community had critical implications for how they experienced the cultural transition to Europe, and how they were received by the host environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101900
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • narrative inquiry
  • identity
  • intersectionality
  • socioeconomic status
  • cultural transitions
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Cultural transitions
  • Narrative inquiry
  • Intersectionality
  • Identity


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