A study conducted by the American Institute of Research found that American students, even those who live in traditionally academically low-performing states likes Alabama and South Carolina, lead the world in basketball I.Q.
"While U.S. students continue to trail far behind the rest of the world in science and math scores, they are head and shoulders above international students when it comes to understanding the need to spread the floor and hit the offensive boards," said the study's author, Thomas LeMais.
The results are a positive sign for the United States, which had seen significant gains made on its position as the world leader in basketball I.Q. in recent years by the likes of Argentina, Spain and even Puerto Rico.
The new stronghold is attributed to a return to basketball fundamentals in the lower levels of the sport — most 12-and-under youth programs had focused on dunking in the '90s — and a president in the White House who is a proponent of the sport.
"I am very encouraged by this study's findings," said President Obama. "Between this and my wife's efforts to improve the eating habits and health of America's children, I hope we can win every world basketball title through the 21st century. Our physical might will allow us to beat up or pants anyone who makes fun of our academic failings."
The study does have some critics, however.
"The premise that America's basketball I.Q. had ever slipped is mistaken," said Robert Wynn, editor of The Journal Of American Sport. "If you watch the tapes of the Olympics and FIBA Championship games we supposedly lost, we didn't actually lose them. It's just that our nation's math and reading abilities have become so poor that we couldn't make sense of the scoreboard."