Basketball has a lock on the Filipino soul. From big arenas in Manila to makeshift hoops in small villages, basketball is played by Filipinos of all walks of life and is used to mark everything from summer breaks for students to religious festivals and many other occasions. Playing with the Big Boys traces the social history of basketball in the Philippines from an educational and “civilizing” tool in the early twentieth century to its status as national pastime since the country gained independence after World War II.
While the phrase “playing with the big boys” describes the challenge of playing basketball against outsized opponents, it also describes the struggle for recognition that the Philippines, as a subaltern society, has had to contend with in its larger transnational relationships as a former U.S. colony.
Lou Antolihao goes beyond the empire-colony dichotomy by covering Filipino basketball in a wider range of comparisons, such as that involving the growing influence of Asia in its region, particularly China and Japan. In this context, Antolihao shows how Philippines basketball has moved from a vehicle for Americanization to a force for globalization in which the United States, while still a key player, is challenged by other basketball-playing countries.
UNP - Nebraska; May 2015
- ISBN 9780803278516
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: Playing with the Big Boys
- Author: Lou Antolihao
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
In The Press
“Attentive to the ways in which so many aspects of political and national discourse intersect with the game of basketball. Any historians working on Philippine history or the history of sport and colonialism would be well served by reading this work.”—Andrew D. Morris, professor of history at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
About The Author
Lou Antolihao is a sociologist who specializes in leisure studies and comparative-historical analysis. He has held research and teaching appointments in the Philippines, Singapore, and Japan, most recently as the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.