The thing is, that in most parts of the world, there is also "handball", a sport not to be confused with this smash-the-ball-to-the-wall-game that is known in the states. (check wikipedia for more info) Handball is sport with dribbling and shooting the ball on goals somewhat bigger than hockey goals. Handball is a lot more physical than basketball in Europe. So people who like playing physical ball games outside the US usually end up playing handball instead of basketball.
Greetz from Germany