In the United States, youth basketball leagues are offered for children and teenagers to develop skills and learn how to play. These leagues are mainly run by private organizations or city known recreation departments. These youth leagues are designed to involve kids of all skill levels to learn and practice even if they have never picked up a basketball before. For example, in some recreation leagues they ban running 2-3 or 2-1-2 traps due to the skill level being unfair or more of a advantage for the opposing team. In youth leagues sometimes they prohibit full court presses so they can practice setting up the offense and learn to play the game.
The players and athletes who were successful while playing in the youth and AAU leagues often move onto playing High School basketball which is a pretty big deal nationwide in some states. Teams are usually organized into three sections (Freshman, Junior-Varsity, Varsity) , which contains kids from lower grade levels and Junior Varsity up is upperclassman with skill and knowledge while others are still developing. Teams play other High Schools in the area, but based on their success they may move onto play for a area or state championship which causes great National attention to both the school and players. Their is a High School national governing board which judges the rules and determines play so all of the leagues are fair.
After playing High School basketball, many of the best players have the opportunity play all types of college basketball. Colleges who have a big enough competitive teams recruit athletes out of high school with scholarships and they decide which University they will attend within their last years of school. College teams compete against other universities at different division levels as part of the NCAA, which governs collegiate basketball games and teams. The NCAA splits schools into different divisions, with Division I being the largest, its games regularly being televised, and its Annual championship tournament being one of the most popular sporting events of the year which you may of heard of called March Madness.