We aren't talking about adults at work. We are talking about children participating in an extracurricular.What about two equally qualified candidates for a promotion at work? There is one spot. Leaders have these choices all the time and it stinks as someone will be unhappy. The kid who sat (Who is not going to earn money in Basketball) has a choice to make. That choice happens probably daily in adulthood. He/She cannot control being placed on the bench. But how they respond, or more importantly learn to respond, will define their adult hood.
but if you want to consider playing HS athletics employment, HS football would be banned as a hazardous occupation detrimental to the health of the kids.