Summary Basketball is an emerging, yet understudied, case of sport in the help economy. In ‘developing’ nations, such as Brazil, basketball has begun to compete with football as a central area to help youth rise out of abject poverty. Why has basketball become a key means of poverty alleviation and youth empowerment? What sorts of effects does basketball development have on youth identification? To address these questions, I will conduct research at the universities of Duke and Georgetown in the United States. The immediate goal is to gather data and conduct interviews to better understand the perspective of basketball-as-development from the US perspective. Moreover, I aim to strengthen my individual and institutional networks related to basketball and Brazil.