The Essential Basketball Equipment List All Players Need

Learning to play basketball happens differently for everyone. Some people are thrown right into the game as a young child, either because their older siblings play or their parents have a passion for the game. Others naturally gravitate towards this sport once they hit middle school or high school, and still more don’t learn the game until they’re all grown up.

Still, once you discover a love for basketball, the passion doesn’t fade. This game is incredibly fast-paced; it’s physically challenging and a mental game, too.

Beyond that, though, basketball is a community. Between the coaches, the players, and the fans, everyone on the court and in the stands knows what the love of basketball really means.

Before you can start understanding this for yourself, you need the right gear to play with. The following is a basketball equipment list of all the essentials.

1. Gym Shorts and T-Shirts

The first thing on this list is not exclusive to basketball, but it’s absolutely necessary. You can’t step on a court in a pair of jeans and a tight t-shirt and expect to play.

No – you need basketball shorts and tops made for athletic activity. More often than not these are standard t-shirts. However, some men will play topless in a game of shirts vs. skins and ladies like to wear tank tops to play, too.

2. Basketball Shoes

Regardless of how you show off your personal style when picking a pair of shorts and a top, make sure you grab your basketball shoes before heading to practice and play.

The floors on indoor basketball courts are made of wood with a special coating. This coating can’t afford to be scratched because it can compromise the game for players.

Not to mention, basketball shoes are designed to support players as best as possible. They protect the ankles and provide just enough lift to run up and down the court with, regardless of if a player is on an inside or outside court.

3. A Basketball

A basketball may sound pretty obvious, but not everything thinks of buying their own. Most people think their child can play with the basketballs at practice and adults who want to play assume they can hop in on a game that’s already being played.

This is only true to an extent. If you really want your child to get better, you want to give them as much ball time as possible. The more they practice ball handling drills and cool tricks at home, the better they can execute such things during a game.

This goes for adults as well, yet, there’s more to it. When you jump in on a game that’s already going on, you can only play until the owner of the ball decides to leave. At that point, it’s just you and a hoop with no ball to play with, so you should always have a backup.

4. A Practice Hoop

Even if the neighborhood courts are right around the corner from your house, you want to have a practice hoop in your driveway. This allows you to work on your game at any hour of the day.

Can’t sleep? Go work on your shooting form. Bored on a Sunday afternoon? Invite a few buddies over for a game of 2-on-2.

These are just a few possibilities available to you when you don’t have to depend on public courts. Not to mention, it’s great to have your own hoop when the courts get particularly crowded and there’s a long wait to play.

5. A Mouthpiece

Most people assume basketball isn’t a contact sport because it doesn’t require fancy pads or things like tackling and hitting. But, it is considered a contact sport because you’re likely to get hit from time to time.

You may make some unfortunate contact with the ball or take an accidental hit from another player on the court. It happens, and you need a mouthpiece to be prepared for such situations.

Mouthpieces ensure your pearly whites stay in place while you’re playing a game. The last thing you want to do is go on the court without one only to end up with a few less teeth in your mouth.

6. A Water Bottle

Although you don’t need a water bottle on the court with you at all times, it pays to have one close by. This keeps you energized and alert throughout tough practices and long games.

It doesn’t matter how good you are or how long you’ve been playing. If you’re dehydrated, you’re almost guaranteed to play a bad game. Always make sure you have a water bottle ready to go before heading to practice or playing a bit of pickup.

7. A Gym Bag

The final piece of equipment needed for basketball is a gym bag. This comes in handy for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it’s a great place to keep your water bottle and mouthpiece.

A gym bag is capable of holding much more, though. This is where you can put an extra t-shirt that you can wear once practice is over and you don’t want to walk around with a sweat-stained shirt. It’s where you can keep your slides in order to prevent putting extra wear and tear on your basketball shoes, too.

Plus, gym bags give you a place to put all the extra stuff. You can store everything from headphones to post-game snacks and a sweat towel in here, just to name a few things. Some players keep a charger handy for away games and others will pack an extra pair of socks for safe measure.

Complete Your Basketball Equipment List and Start Playing!

Whether you’re the type to load up your gym bag or you just want to focus on the basics, you need everything on this basketball equipment list in order to be a serious player. This goes for new players and experienced basketball athletes alike.

When you realize how beneficial each item is, you’ll never want to play without them. For more basketball tips and tricks to choose your gear or improve your game, click here.