LAWRENCE — A researcher at basketball powerhouse the University of Kansas, who took part in the Big Dance during his college years, is available to discuss the NCAA Tournament and scientific concepts related to the game of basketball with the media.
Dimitrije Cabarkapa, director of basketball research at KU’s Jayhawk Athletic Performance Laboratory, studies what makes successful basketball players. From biomechanics to strength and nutrition, Cabarkapa and colleagues research the common traits among successful basketball players at all levels from amateur to professional. Their findings can help coaches advance training designs to better prepare players or on-court competitive demands and scholars to better understand the physical and physiological demands of the game. He can discuss the tournament, the mechanics of proficient basketball shooters, the importance of shooting efficiency and rebounding for winning, the importance of strength and power on determining the competitive level of play, playing in the tournament and more.
“Basketball is one of the most popular international sports, and the NCAA Tournament brings even more viewers to the game,” Cabarkapa said. “I was fortunate enough to play in the NCAA Tournament, and even though I’m not playing anymore, I stay close to the game and every day get to learn more about what makes a successful basketball player. We’ll be seeing the best on the court, and they will undoubtedly reflect what the sports science is showing us to be critical characteristics of good basketball teams and players.”
Cabarkapa, a forward on the 2013 James Madison University team that played in the tournament, now conducts research at KU, home to the 2022 national champion Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawk Athletic Performance Laboratory, part of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, uses innovative technology such as 3D markerless motion capture systems to analyze the shooting mechanics of basketball players. Along with colleagues, he has published research examining biomechanical differences between proficient and nonproficient shooters, showing that players with greater lower body strength and power are more likely to have professional careers, the link between breakfast and basketball shooting performance and more.