A bank shot in basketball is any shot that ricochets off the backboard before going into the basket. Though not as visually pleasing as swishing a shot, making bank shots can be a very important technical skill for players to master. Let's learn a little bit more about bank shots.

Bank Shot Geometry

Every shot attempt, whether a miss or a make, can be explained through geometry; bank shots are certainly no exception! Shots taken from the wings are more likely to go in when banked than shots taken from the areas in front of the basket, because of the amount of rotations the basketball typically makes in the air and the surface area of the ball that touches the backboard on different shots.

Geometry also suggests that an imaginary 'V' shaped line drawn in the top center of the red square on a backboard can outline where the best spots to bank the ball are! These would be the places to aim the ball when shooting from an optimal bank shot spot.

Why Use a Bank Shot?

The bank shot can be an extremely helpful shot to use at any point during a basketball game. The most typical example of a bank shot is seen just about any time someone shoots a layup, since it is much easier to bank a shot in from close range than it is to swish it. Shooting from the wings or on either side of the basket is much easier when you can use the backboard, since you have a clear point to aim at and something to assist you besides the rim.

If you know the angles to shoot the basketball at, and the optimal spots to hit the backboard, than a bank shot can increase your chances of making the shot by a lot!