The Basics of Basketball

Basketball is played all over the world. It was originated in America, but taken everywhere and is extremely popular in Europe and really just anywhere you go. We've seen great players from countries like China, Germany, Russia, Berlin, all over the world. We have seen Spanish players and others join the NBA over the years and the league just keeps going global with the players that come in. It has been a great thing to watch it. For the biggest part of the early 90's you could see how far ahead the U.S. was with the Dream Team, then in the 2000's the tide shifted, but the United States seems to have started to get back to training the players the right way and things are turning around.

Basketball has five players on the floor for each team making it ten at a time total. There are usually three referees. There is a point guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, power forward, and a center. The center is the biggest player or the player that can jump the highest and rebound best. The power forward is the next biggest or next to rebound and block shots best. The small forward is usually a fast player who can dribble and pass, but shoot and score well. He usually does some rebounding as well and a lot of times defend one of the better players on the opposition. The shooting guard is one of two things. They either can shoot very well and handle a bit as well as very quick and play good defense, or they can play good defense and can drive to the basket really well and shoot free throws well. The point guard is the main ball handler and facilitator. They move the ball to the right ball and get the offense started and also try to hinder the other team from starting their offense. This is a game that is predicated on all of these players playing their rolls simultaneously.

The keys to being able to play basketball are simple in word, but hard in practice. It is something that you must devote yourself to practicing a lot if you want to do for anything more than just mere recreation. If you want to be good you have to practice a lot. To dribble, you dribble with your fingertips, no palms. You dribble in front of you, but not too far in front. You dribble about waist high so you can control it, but it doesn't get stolen, if a defender closes in then you lower the dribble and protect with the off hand.

To shoot you place your shooting hand in the middle of the ball on the laces and put your off hand on the side of the ball. The off hand comes off around your head. Your arm goes fairly straight up in the air with your hand flicking the ball when you release and you spin the ball forward with back spin. You try to make your hand look as if you are reaching into a cookie jar.

To pass your hands push the ball from your chest and you pass to your teammate to their chest or a bounce pass, or a baseball pass which is a long pass thrown like a baseball or a no look which is a pass not looking at your teammate. The chest pass simply pushes the ball from your chest and your thumbs go from bottom to top. You push to the teammate.

There are two leagues to watch for basketball, college and professional. The college game has great teams like Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Syracuse, Baylor, Texas and many others. They play a regular season consisting of many games with teams out of conference and then teams in conference. Most teams play a conference tournament with the winner getting an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Sometimes it's just determined by the league and no tournament. Then the teams will be picked by a selection committee who seeds the 68 teams into a single elimination bracket and they play until they lose or win the title.

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