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Basketball Equipment

Basketball can be played with very little equipment. That is why it has become one of the most popular sports to play in the world. Although the strongest league is in the United States, basketball is a popular sport in every continent, and it is still growing. Basketball can be played outdoors on asphalt and dirt or indoors on wooden floors. If you're getting ready to play a pickup game, here's a list of equipment you'll need to bring:

Basketball Equipment

The Backboard

An official NBA backboard is made of transparent glass, but a wooden or metal backboard will also work. In the NBA, the backboard measures 6ft wide by 3.5ft tall. If you want to have a fancy backboard, you can have it light up with red LEDs to match when the shot clock expires. A backboard set can be bought and installed at home, in the driveway, or in a backyard.

basketball glass backboard

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The Ball

You'll need a ball to play the game. Today, basketballs are either made with synthetic materials such as rubber, polyester, and nylon in combination with leather. In the NBA, the pressure of the ball must be between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds. The size of the ball measures 29.5 inches around in circumference. There are smaller sizes you can get for kids of various ages between 12-14, 9-11, and 5-8 years old. Some health or community centers that have basketball courts may be able to provide a ball. However, it is always better to be sure and take your own ball if you plan on playing basketball. Did you know that the NBA has up to nine game balls present at all times for a single game?

Basketball Ball

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Basketball Headbands

If you want to add a unique look to your personal style on the court, try adding a headband. You can rock a traditional cotton sweatband or use a branded dry fit bandana. Whichever style you choose, you're going to look great, and stop the sweat from interfering with your game.

Basketball Headband

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Basketball hoop lights and LEDs

A shot clock is a device that is used to keep track of the amount of time the offense has the ball. The shot clock lasts 24 seconds in the NBA, and 30 seconds in college basketball. It's a shot clock violation if the time runs out. You can connect a shot clock to the backboard, so it will light up red when the shot clock expires.

Basketball Shot Clock

The Hoop

There are two types of games you can play. If you're playing pickup basketball, you can play half court with one hoop instead of full court with two hoops. Basketball hoops consist of a backboard, rim, net, and metal post that holds it up in the air. Basketball courts always have hoops on them, otherwise, they wouldn't be basketball courts.

Basketball Hoop

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Basketball Jerseys

The jersey is your identity. It includes your name on the back and numerals on both the front and back that identify who you are. On the front of a jersey is your team's logo and branding. Jersey sizing comes in the traditional x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large, and take into account your height, chest size, waist, and hips.

Basketball Jersey

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Basketball Rims

The basket and rim have a pressure release that allows it to bend when players dunk and hold onto it. The rim is a metal ring with an 18in diameter. The ring is attached to the backboard 10ft above the ground.

Basketball Shoes

For someone planning on playing basketball, the shoes are the most essential piece of equipment. Although basketball can be played in regular sneakers, a good pair of shoes will give you an edge on the court, while providing greater safety. They will allow you to move laterally and perform quick cuts to beat defensive players. Unfortunately, not all shoes are created equal, and you should try them on at the store to make sure they fit comfortably. Some of the biggest brands are Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor. New basketball shoes may need some time to break in until they are comfortable.

basketball shoes

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Basketball Shooting Sleeves

Another optional piece of attire is an arm sleeve. Also known as compression sleeves, this article of clothing not only looks good, but it aids in muscle recovery on and off the court. Whether to wear them or not, it is all about player comfort.

Basketball Arm Sleeve

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Basketball Shorts

Another piece of equipment that is essential to your uniform are shorts. If you're playing outside in cold weather, you may want to choose pants. However, if you're playing indoors, you'll want to stick with shorts since you'll start sweating once you play. If you're playing in a league match, the colors of your shorts should match your jersey. If you're playing a pickup game, you can wear any color you want as long as the other team knows which side you're on.

Basketball Shorts

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Basketball Socks

You may not think socks are important, but they prevent friction between your feet and the shoes. Having a nice pair of socks will prevent blisters from forming on your heels and toes. There's also the never-ending debate on long socks versus short socks. You should decide based on which you are most comfortable wearing, and how you look in them.

Basketball Socks

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Throwback Basketball Jerseys

A throwback jersey is one that was worn by a famous player or team in a previous season. Choosing a throwback jersey that was worn by your favorite player might give you the edge you were looking for on the court.

basketball throwback jersey

Check out a Michael Jordan throwback jersey or a Lebron James throwback jersey. Old school jerseys like the original Phoenix Suns jersey or the Toronto Raptors purple jersey are always a great choice.

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Basketball Towels

If you sweat a lot, you'll want to bring a towel to the game. There are many types of towels that range in size, color, and material.

Basketball Towel

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Basketball Uniforms

If you're going to play in a basketball game, make sure you and your team have a uniform. Basketball uniforms consist of a jersey, shorts, a pair of socks. Optionally, you can add your own personal touch to your uniform by adding a headband or arm sleeve.

You should keep in mind that you may be required to have a different uniform for home games versus away games. In some leagues like the NCAA, the home team must wear jerseys with light colors, while the away team must wear jerseys with dark colors. These color differences prevent confusion during play. If you plan on playing basketball casually and still want teams to be able to differentiate themselves, colored bibs should do the job; they can be acquired cheaply in most sport equipment stores.

Basketball Uniform

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Basketball Whistles

If you're a coach or referee, you'll want a whistle. Referees may blow their whistles to signal a dead ball, on fouls, violations, or if a player steps out of bounds. Coaches may blow their whistles to start or stop a drill, give a command, or just to gather the players.Basketball Whistle

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Basketball Wristbands

Basketball wristbands are yet another type of non-essential equipment that may help you while giving you some on-court style. You see most basketball players using rubber wristbands with a message or meaning during games.

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