@Anon, the reasons kids play hoops in huge numbers (I agree, more than pretty much anything else), are varied, but the cultural aspect remains.
You see kids hang around to watch the seniors play footbal, but basketball is different, it doesn't really offer that community based family friendly environment to stick around the social club, have a pie and a drink and watch the next game.
This is of course subjective because footy has a big oval, plenty of room and a social atmosphere at almost every club, not saying hoops isn't social, it just isn't the same.
So, it's play and go somewhere else. To watch the senior team in basketball (NBL level I am referring to) is a special event, it is more often detached from the juniors and let's face it the summer season of NBL offers too many other things to do.
Bringing back the NBL to winter would (IMO) get crowds back because those who want to go out and watch hoops wil do it, they want to watch a game indoors during winter, that doesn't do for 3-4 hours so they can have dinner or go and socialise or get kids to bed at a decent hour...
Two aspects here:
1. At local club level hoops isn't generally as social, community focused.
2. At NBL level we are in the wrong season.