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Basketball Player Positions

What are the positions on a basketball team? What is the role of the center, forwards, and guards? Get ready to learn about the player positions and how to pick which position to play.

Basketball Player Positions

In basketball, there are five players on each team on the court. These five players are called:

  1. The Point Guard
  2. The Shooting Guard
  3. The Small Forward
  4. The Power Forward
  5. The Center

Basketball Team

Each player has a unique role and responsibility during a game.

Player Position Roles

In basketball, every player has a role on the court. However, many times these roles and responsibilities overlap. As a result, it is difficult to know what each player position should be doing. This classification of player roles is archaic and there is room to improve it in the modern game of basketball.

Player Position Notation

We use the following numbers when referring to the player positions in basketball:

  • Point Guard = 1 or PG
  • Shooting Guard = 2 or SG
  • Small Forward = 3 or SF
  • Power Forward = 4 or PF
  • Center = 5 or C

Basketball Point Guards

The point guard is the leader of the team. They coordinate plays on the court and is typically the best dribbler on the team. The point guard will start with the ball near the top of the key. A few key stats for point guards are steals and assists.

Basketball Point Guard

Basketball Shooting Guards

The shooting guard is great at making shots beyond the three point line. A few key stats for shooting guards are rebounds, assists, and scores.

Basketball Shooting Guard

Basketball Small Forwards

The small forward is also great at making shots past the there point arc. Small forwards are similar to shooting guards. The small forward and shooting guard are great at shooting on the perimeters of the court near the wings and corners. Get the ball into a these player's hands to make a three-pointer.

Basketball Small Forward

Basketball Power Forwards

The power forward is a post player that likes to make shots inside the three point line in the paint. Power forwards are skilled at making jump shots and hook shots in the paint while posting up. The power forward starts an offensive drive by getting the ball and bringing it towards the top of the key. Power forwards are great at dribbling and overall fantastic ball-handlers.

Basketball Power Forward

Basketball Centers

The center is typically the tallest player on the team. Centers take jump balls in the center circle. Centers are great at dunking near the basket in the paint for an easy layup. A key statistic for centers is rebounds.

Basketball Center

Basketball Position Terminology

If you want to read more about basketball player positions, check out these terms:

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