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Most sporting leagues, including most basketball leagues, only run for around half of the year. This means that, unless they are in a high league, most players have half of the year away from basketball. Although a lot of them play other sports during the basketball offseason, any extended period away from a sport is going to result in a loss of skills and fitness.

If you are a keen basketball player with visions of playing in a higher league in the future, then you need to make sure that you are doing some sort of offseason training. Simply handling a ball a few times per week bouncy castle can help you retain, and even improve your skills during the off season, putting you that little bit ahead of everyone else at the start of the next season.

Unfortunately, a lot of players don’t really know what they should be doing when it comes to offseason basketball training. This can lead to one of two things – inefficient training, or a lack of training altogether. Although it can be difficult to get started, the following top ten tips for offseason basketball training should help you get going:

  1. Stay fit:

Even if you do nothing else at all over the offseason, maintaining your fitness is essential. By all means, have a couple of weeks off at the end of each season and let yourself relax for a while. However, once those few weeks are up, you need to get straight back into training.

As is the case with most team sports, fitness is an essential part of basketball. Fitter players are able to move around the court easier and more efficiently, getting to the right places more often and having a bigger impact on games. Improving your fitness over the offseason will help get you started next season!

  1. Speak with your coach:

If you are already playing in a relatively high level team – even if it’s just your local A grade competition – then you should consider doing a season review with your coach. Speak to them about weaknesses in your game, and areas which you should improve on. As long as they are a half decent coach, they should be able to help you identify the things that you should focus on over the offseason to make yourself a more complete player.

  1. Do some gym work:

If you want to become a better basketballer, then you need to become stronger and faster. The offseason doesn’t come with the rigours of having to get up for a game every week, which means that you can train certain parts of your body harder. Many athletes choose to do a lot of gym work over their offseasons, putting on muscle and bulking up. Make sure that you do a complete program which works your entire body, rather than focusing on specific muscle groups.

  1. Stick to a good diet:

Unfortunately, it can be pretty easy to gain weight in all the wrong places if you start eating poorly and stop exercising at the end of a season. Maintaining a healthy diet is extremely important when it comes to staying fit over the offseason, and should be a focus of every athlete.

  1. Shoot, shoot, shoot!

If you want to improve your shooting and become a better allround basketballer, then you need to practice! The best way to do this is to put up a basketball ring at home somewhere. If you do this, then you will be able to get out and shoot a few hoops whenever you are feeling bored, energetic, or simply when you have a bit of time on your hands.

  1. Don’t be afraid to take a few days off here and there:

When it comes to offseason training, you should work hard, of course. However, you should also make sure that you give your body plenty of rest and recovery time. If you are consistently sore, then consider giving yourself a few days or a week off to make sure that you stay fresh and don’t get burnt out.

  1. Find a training buddy:

If you are someone who has trouble getting motivated to get out and train, then find a friend or teammate who will train with you. Having someone else there can help motivate you to get up in the mornings for those early sessions and to stay on the track when the going gets hard. Try it – it works!

  1. Work on your weaknesses:

Unless you are a very special player and a gifted athlete, you will have weaknesses and problems with your game. These can come in a range of forms, and include things like poor ball handling skills, poor shooting technique, or a lack of speed on the court.

If you are serious about improving your basketball game, then you need to identify and work on the things which are holding you back. At the start of the offseason, sit down and make a list of the things that you think you could be better at. Work on them every week, and watch yourself improve!  

  1. Make sure that you keep your skills up!

There is no point getting super fit and toned if you lose all of your skills in the process. Sure, your offseason should be about fitness and conditioning, but you need to make sure that you keep practicing your simple skills as well. Wherever possible, try and play practice matches so that you don’t lose your touch.

  1. Get a personal trainer:

If you find yourself getting a bit stuck and feeling unsure about what you should be doing with yourself, then you should consider using a personal trainer. They will help motivate you, will be able to give you a personalised exercise plan, and will monitor and fine tune your progress over the offseason.

Offseason training can seem like a daunting prospect for a lot of people. However, it is absolutely essential if you want to improve your basketball game and become a better allround player. Sure, it will take some time and commitment, but it will be worth it by the time the next season comes around. Good luck!

 

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Developed in the late 19th century, basketball has quickly become one of the world’s most popular sports. From professional leagues in Europe to the NBA (both in the American and Australian sense), local, national, and international competitions are extremely common.

Although basketball is played at the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games remains one of the sport’s premier competitions. Some of the best teams from around the world come together to compete for the coveted gold inflatable slide for sale medal, and with world powerhouses like the USA not competing, the competition is usually much closer than a lot of other major ones.

Basketball At Past Commonwealth Games:

Although it is a worldwide sport played by most countries, basketball has only been played at the Commonwealth Games once in the past, in 2006. It was announced in 2011 that the sport would be returning for the 2018 Games, and hopefully we will see it live on into the future.

As the hosts in 2006, Australia won gold in both the men’s and women’s competitions – something they are widely tipped to do again in 2018. In the men’s competition, New Zealand took home the silver medal, while England snatched the bronze from a valiant Nigeria. In the women’s competition the results were, amazingly, the same, with the silver going to New Zealand, the bronze to England, and an honourable 4th going to Nigeria.

Who Is Playing In The 2018 Commonwealth Basketball Competition?

Eight women’s and eight men’s teams will be competing for the mantle of the Commonwealth’s best basketballing nation at the 2018 Games. The countries represented include:

Mens:

  • Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, and Scotland, all for the second time, along with Cameroon and Canada making their Games debut.

Womens:

  • Australia, England, India, Malaysia, Mozambique, and New Zealand, all for the second time, along with Jamaica and Canada making their Games debut.

The inclusion of two Canadian teams for the first time is expected to make the competition a lot more ferocious, as they are among the highest ranked teams in the world.  

When Is The Basketball Competition At The 2018 Games?

The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games basketball competition runs over an eleven day period from the 5th of April until the 15th. The men’s competition finishes on the 15th, while the women’s finishes a day earlier, on the 14th. The full schedule is as follows:

Mens:

Pool matches will be played from the 5th until the 9th of April, with the qualifying finals on the 10th. The semi-final will take place on the 14th, with both the gold and bronze medal matches happening on the 15th.

Womens:

The women’s competition is very similar to the men’s. Pool matches will also be played from the 5th until the 9th of April, with qualifying finals on the 10th. The difference lies in the final round, with semi-finals taking place on the 13th, rather than the 14th, and the gold and bronze medal matches being played on the 14th.

If you would like to see the full 2018 Commonwealth Games basketball schedule, head over the official Games website.

Where Is Basketball Played At The 2018 Games?

The 2018 Commonwealth Games basketball tournament will be played in three different cities. Preliminary rounds will be played at the Cairns convention center in Cairns, and at the Townsville Exhibition and Convention center in Townsville. These venues both seat 5000 people, so there is plenty of room for spectators.

Finals will take place on the Gold Coast itself, with all finals matches being played at the 5000 seat capacity Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Center. If you would like to buy tickets to and of the tournament’s games, head over to the official website here.

Where Can I Get My Tickets?

Tickets to the 2018 Commonwealth Games basketball competition can be purchased either through the official Games website, or externally through a third party retailer. Prices start at just $15 per person for children. Adult tickets will set you back a mere $30 per person – an extremely affordable price for a major international basketball tournament.

It is worth noting that there is no reason to buy tickets from third party sellers unless the venue is sold out. Don’t pay more than your tickets are worth, and make sure that the tickets you buy are legitimate.

Is It Worth Watching The Basketball At The 2018 Gold Coast Games?  

In short, yes, the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games basketball competition is not to be missed by anyone who even remotely resembles a basketball fan. With some of the world’s best teams competing, the 11 days of competition will be a week and a half to remember. Expect bitter rivalries between countries like Australia, New Zealand, and England, with friendlier games between lower ranked teams.

Who Are We Tipping To Win The Medal?

As the home nation and defending Commonwealth Games champions, it would be hard to go past the two Australia teams. However, they will be facing extremely stiff competition from Canada, who is one of the world’s top ranked teams in both the men’s and the women’s game. Expect countries like England, New Zealand, and Nigeria to also come out firing, with every game being worth watching.

Final Word:

If you – like me – love watching a good game of basketball, then you would be stupid to miss the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Some of the world’s best teams are converging on Australia’s sunny Gold Coast for the event, and the atmosphere should be electric.

So, get online, buy your tickets, and turn up to the Games in your country’s colours. If you are unable to attend live games, be sure to tune into your TV to follow the progress of your team. Good luck to your country, and let the Games begin!

Basketball is a complex game requiring a complex set of skills. Along with this, a high level of fitness is needed for anyone who wants to play competitive basketball, making it one of the most difficult sports to train for. Training regimes need to include skills, explosive fitness, and endurance based exercises. Unless you are a pro coach, it can be difficult to work all of this into a single training session, which is why we have created the following list of the best workouts for basketballers.

Why is basketball specific training so specific?

Unfortunately, a lot of high-level basketball players have been blessed with incredible athletic abilities. This makes it hard for the average Joe to crack into even low-grade competitive teams unless they are training smart and working hard.

First, you need to think about your skills. If you are naturally a little slower or have a little less endurance, you need to make up for it by improving your ball handling. The best way to do this is to practice. The more inflatable water slide for sale you practice things like shooting, dribbling, or even passing, the better you will get at them. Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect – perfect practice makes perfect. Always train the way you want to play, and don’t let yourself fall into bad habits while practicing.

You can also improve your basketball related fitness levels if you are willing to work hard and out in the hours. Although a lot of people are too lazy to train hard enough to become a high level basketballer, you will find that putting in the hours really does help. Before increasing your training load you may have been an average player, but after a lot of basketball specific fitness training you will probably find yourself cracking into the best players most games – try it and see!

So, without further ado, here are our favourite basketball specific workouts and exercises. Try and include a few of these in your training program every week for maximum improvement!

  1. Romanian Deadlifts

Sure, this might sound like a bit of a strange exercise, but it is an extremely important and useful one when it comes to basketball training. The Romanian Deadlift will help you be able to jump higher, move more explosively, and will also reduce your risk of injury by strengthening your leg muscles.

How do I do it?

The Romanian Deadlift is actually a very simple exercise which anyone with access to a few weights can do. Start with your feet spread a shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your back straight, squat as low as you can, lowering the dumbbells towards the ground. When you have gone down as far as possible, contract your leg muscles explosively and return to standing position as quick as you can. Use a weight which allows you to comfortably do ten reps per set, and at least three to four sets. The key here is not to lift as heavy as you can, but to train your muscles to be more explosive.

  1. Pullups

Although simple, pullups are a great exercise when it comes to basketball specific training. They can be used to strengthen almost the entire upper body, and are a quick, simple exercise to do at home. Doing pullups will help you achieve the full extension that is required to make an effective jumpshot.

How to do it?

Pullups are extremely simple. Basically, you need to find a bar which supports your body weight (you can actually buy simple ones which hang from the door frames in your home). Begin by hanging from the bar with your arms extended. Your hand can face forwards or backwards, but it can be a good idea to vary your grip between sets. Pull yourself up from the hanging position until your chin is at the level of the bar. Immediately lower yourself, making sure that you extend your arms fully between each rep. Failing to do so will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

  1. Suicide Sprints

Best done in a team environment – such as during or at the end of training – suicide sprints are a great way to improve both your explosive fitness and your longer term endurance. They will leave you perfectly equipped to be able to run out your next basketball game right until the last minute.

How to do it?

Suicide sprints are actually very simple. Participants line up along the baseline of the court. They then sprint to the other baseline, touch it, turn, and sprint back. When they get back they immediately turn again and sprint to the three-quarter line, touch it, and then sprint back. This is repeated with the halfway line and the quarter court line. Once they have reached the baseline after the quarter court line, they then turn and repeat the same thing in reverse, finishing with a sprint from baseline to baseline and back. It is up to you how many suicide sprints you do, but completing five to ten over the course of a training session will do wonders for your fitness.

4, Simple Skills Training

The usefulness of simple skills training can’t be underestimated. Practising regularly can help you get a better touch for the ball, can help improve your control and accuracy, and can definitely make you a better allround basketballer.

How to do it?

Basically, grab a ball, find somewhere with a hard surface or a ring, and get practising. Throw free throws for half an hour. Grab a mate and practice passing to each other. Grab a ball and dribble up and down the court. Simple things like this might not seem like a lot, but they will always help you improve. Remember – “perfect practice makes perfect”.

So Do You Really Want To Be The Best Basketballer You Can?

If so, then make sure that you include these exercises into your regular training program. Note that they are not extremely useful on their own, but that they can help you improve faster when they are added to your training sessions. Get out there, have some fun, and improve your game out of sight this season!

Team building and team building exercises are extremely important for any team sport. They help bring players closer together, help players understand each other and can improve the overall performance of the team. Unfortunately, a lot of amaetur coaches and teams underestimate the importance of team building exercises, instead focusing purely on skills and fitness based training. While this can work in some cases, it is usually best to approach training with a balanced approach which includes some sort of team building.

Why is team building so important?

There are many reasons why you should include some sort of team building drills in your basketball training program. Most of these are centered around improving the performance of a basketball team as a whole, rather than making any single player better. Some reasons why team building exercises are extremely important include:

A team of weak players working together will usually beat a team of strong players who don’t:

This sort of thinking is hammered into young basketball players from the first training session that they take part in. Junior coaches tend to encourage young players by telling them that it doesn’t matter how skilled they are, but rather how good they are at inflatable obstacle course for sale playing for the team. As players grow up they soon realise for themselves that weak players who work together as a team are often able to beat strong players who play for their own glory – this is the essence of teamwork.

Unfortunately, a lot of people who join a team sport when they are a bit older don’t seem to realise how important it is to work as a team. They focus on improving their own skills and fitness, but won’t necessarily work on fitting into the team. This can be detrimental to both their own and the team’s performance.

Team building exercises can help create fluency on the court:

The best basketball teams seem to move with impossible fluency. Every player seems to know exactly where their teammates are, how they are going to move, and what the limit of their skills is. This is a result of team building exercises.

Once you really know your fellow teammates you will find that it becomes much, much easier to work together. As a coach you will notice little connections begin to develop between players – connections which make them work better together on the court. It is your role to grow these connections until you have a team of players who completely understand each other and the way they play. If you can do this, you will have a lot of success, no matter what league you are in.

Team building will bring weaker players up to the level of the team:

One major problem when it comes to playing basketball in a team is dealing with very weak players or with players who haven’t played before. While it can be tempting to simply put them on the bench for a while until they get up to speed – or at least to give them game time when the result isn’t in the balance – it is important to do whatever you can to develop these players.

Engaging in team building activities will help bring the skill level of weaker players up. It will help to even out the performance of the team as a whole. Everyone will understand better how the other players on the team perform in certain situations, and will be able to adjust accordingly.

Simple team building activities to strengthen your basketball team:

There are many, many different team building activities out there that you can use with any team sport. However, some are more appropriate to basketball than others. They will help you build your team up to be as good as it can be, and should be included in your training program regularly. Some of our favourite basketball team building exercises include:

A pre-season camp:

If you are playing in any sort of serious competition, then you need to do a lot of pre-season training to make sure that your team is prepped for the first game of the season. One of the best things that you can do is plan some sort of pre-season camp.

Make sure that all team members attend, and that they participate in whatever activities you plan for them. Try and include a lot of things which will improve both the skills of your players and their ability to work together. Make them complete tasks which require a lot of teamwork, and offer prizes for the groups which work together the best. Most importantly, encourage all of the players to engage with and get along with all the others. This will make sure that your team is a close-knit and friendly with each other as possible.

Team passing:

This is a relatively simple exercise which is suited to teams of inexperienced players who don’t know each other. It is a great way to get players to engage with the team, to learn their teammates names, and to

Simple put all of the players on the team in a circle with a basketball. The player who starts with the ball passes to another player, while calling the name of the person they pass to. Make sure that they vary who they are passing to, and introduce some sort of penalty for calling the wrong name (for example, push-ups or a suicide sprint).

Blindfold maze:

This is a very good activity to encourage trust between players. First, you need to set up some sort of obstacle course that a blindfolded player would be able to make their way through. Choose one player to be blindfolded, and have the rest stand by. The blindfolded player must make their way through the course by listening to the advice of their teammates.

Final Word:

Team building is absolutely vital when it comes to developing a successful basketball team. Team building activities are usually simple and straightforward to do, and they can have a huge impact on the success of your team. Try a few today and see how much of a difference they make!

 

The NBA (National Basketball Association) is arguably the world’s premier basketball league. It is located in the United States of America, and attracts the best players from around the world. Although leagues throughout Europe and Asia are growing, none of these come close to the NBA in terms of sheer size, popularity, and the amount of money involved.

The NBA is also one of the world’s oldest professional basketball leagues. It was founded in 1946, and has grown from strength to strength in the inflatable games for sale decades since. The NBA has a rich and varied history – one that would take hours to explain fully – which will be looked at in brief in the following article.

From humble beginnings:

The NBA was founded on the 6th of June 1946 in New York City. It was originally called the Basketball Association of America (BAA), but this name was changed after just a few years. In 1949, the BAA merged with the existing National Basketball League (NBL) to create the modern day NBA.

Although the structure and size of the NBA has evolved over the years, it’s current existence can be traced back to this merger, which occurred on the 3rd of August 1949 – about 68 years ago.

The NBL:

The National Basketball League, or the NBL, was created in 1937 by three major corporations – General Electric, Firestone, and Goodyear. The league originally had 13 teams, mostly coming from the Great Lakes region of America. Significant development and growth occurred over the next 12 years, before the NBL merged with the BAA to create the modern NBA.

Three current NBA teams can be traced back to the NBL. The Detroit Pistons were originally known as the Fort Wayner Zolloner Pistons. The Los Angeles Lakers have their roots with the Detroit Games, and the Sacramento Kings were originally knon as the Rochester Royals.

The first game in NBA history:

The 1st of November 1946 was an extremely important day when it comes to the history of the NBA. The first ever NBA game was played on this day (Although the league was known as the BAA) between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers. The Knickerbocker’s Ossie Schectman made the first basket in the league’s history.

The original NBA:

As noted above, the NBA was officially formed in 1949, with roots in the NBL and the BAA. The original 1949 league had just 17 teams. These came from a variety of different cities in the region. This number slowly dwindled over the following years, dropping to just 11 teams in 1950 and eight for the 1953-1954 season – the lowest number in the history of the game.

These eight teams are all present in the modern NBA, and include the Boston Celtics, the Fort Wayne Pistons, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, the Rochester Royals, the Minneapolis Lakers, the New York Knicks, the Syracuse Nationals, and the Philadelphia Warriors. It is important to note that some of these teams have different names in the modern competition.

The introduction of the 24 second shot clock in 1954 did a lot for the games appeal. Prior to this, teams would simply hold onto the ball and play a possession game – something which wasn’t really appreciated by the fans. Under the new rule, teams had just 24 seconds to attempt a shot once they had possession of the ball. This sped the game up and caused a dramatic increase in spectator numbers, allowing the NBA to grow to what it is today.

NBA dynasties:

NBA dynasties haven’t been common, but there have been a few, mainly in the early years of the competition. These include:

  • The Minneapolis Lakers 5 championships in the early 1950’s.
  • The Boston Celtic’s 11 championships in 13 years between 1957 and 1969 – including eight straight between 1959 and 1966.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers with 5 championships in 9 years from 1980 to 1988.
  • The Chicago Bulls with 6 wins in 1991-1993 and 1996-1998.

The last three championships have been contested by the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Warriors winning in 2015 and 2017, and the Cavaliers winning in 2017. Could this mark the start of a new dynasty for one of these teams?

Expansion:

In 1961, the Chicago Packers joined the NBA to become the competition’s 9th team, a move which marked the beginning of expansion. By 1968 the competition had surged to 14 teams, with 18 by 1974. Currently (as of 2017) there are 30 teams in the NBA. 29 of these teams are based in the USA, with the Canadian Toronto Raptors the only non US team in the league.

The most successful NBA teams:

The Boston Celtics (17 wins from 21 championship appearances) and the Los Angeles Lakers (formerly the Minneapolis Lakers, 16 wins from 31 championships) have been by far the most successful teams in the history of the NBA. Other notable teams include the Chicago Bulls with 6 wins, the Golden State Warriors with 5 wins, and the San Antonio Spurs with 5 wins.

What does the NBA look like today?

The modern NBA is much, much different to the original competition. The season commences in late September with training camps and pre-season training. These are followed by preseason practice matches.

Following the practice matches, the regular season kicks off in the last week of October. Each team plays 82 games – split equally between home and away fixtures –  across a fast past, strenuous regular season. The NBA All-Star game takes place in February, in which the best players from each conference go head to head in an exhibition match. The regular season generally ends around the middle of April.

In late April, the NBA playoffs begin. The top eight teams in each conference compete for the league championship. The playoffs take place in an elimination format, with each team playing their designated up to seven times, aiming to win four games. The team which wins four games advances to the next round of the playoffs, while the loser is eliminated.

The last two teams standing (one from each conference) will face off in the NBA Finals. This series is also best of seven games, and is held in June. The NBA Finals are undoubtedly one of the biggest events on the American – and world – sporting calendar, and should remain so for years to come.

Basketball was invented in America at the end of the 19th century, making it a relatively old sport on a world scale. It quickly spread around the world to become popular in many different countries, and has grown to become one of the world’s most played sports. The history of basketball varies according to the country that you are in, and can be extremely varied and colourful.

Australia is one of the countries which has adopted basketball as a major sport. Although national teams haven’t performed well historically, a recent surge in funding and interest saw the Australian men’s Boomers finish fourth at the most recent Olympic games in Brazil. The history of Australian basketball is both varied and interesting, and needs to be looked at to gain a full understanding of the sport in its modern form.

From Humble Beginnings

Basketball spread to Australia in 1897, just six years after the sport was invented. The first recorded game was between OBI (Our Boys Institute) and YMCA toddler bouncy castle for sale on the 17th of February, 1897. The game took place in South Australia, and paved the way for the future.

Early basketball development in Australia too place in Adelaide and its surrounding suburbs, unlike most sports which developed in Melbourne. However, the sport quickly spread across the country, with courts and basketball hoops popping up in even the smallest country towns. Basketball became a way for AFL players to keep fit over the summer months, and shooting a few hoops became a popular pastime.

While women’s basketball wasn’t developed until later in the 20th century – most women of the time played netball – the sport is now extremely popular among both men and women across Australia. Good things can come from humble beginnings!

The Formation Of National Associations

Unfortunately, the early part of the 20th century didn’t see lot of basketball development in Australia. Compounding factors such as the two World Wars and the Great Depression reduced the impact of the sport (and indeed, of most sports) and prevented it from really growing until the 1930s.

The Victorian Basketball Association was formed in 1931, paving the way for the large scale expansion of basketball across Australia. The NSW basketball association followed soon after, signalling the beginning of basketball expansion.

In 1939, the first national governing body for Australian basketball was created in the form of the Amateur Basketball Union of Australia (ABU). Unfortunately, the ABU was a national union in name only, with representatives from NSW and Victoria. Over the years other states were added to the union, and the name was changed to the Australian Basketball Federation – which it remains to this day.

Early Competitions

Early Australian basketball competitions were scarce until the 1930’s. The development of various state and national governing bodies saw the commencement of various competitions, many of which exist to this day. To begin with, most of these competitions were played at a local level. However, state competitions and, eventually, a national competition were to be developed over the coming years.

National Men’s Championships began in 1946. The first tournament was played in Sydney, and saw NSW defeat Victoria for the title. The first Women’s National Championships took place in 1955, with South Australia coming out comprehensive victors over NSW.

In 1948 Australia joined the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). They were the 52nd country to do so, and this gave the national teams access to many international competitions and tournaments.

The Development of Women’s Basketball

Basketball was originally designed to be a men’s sport. It was thought that women couldn’t cope with both the physical demands and the dress requirements of the sport, and they were therefore discouraged to play. Many women turned to netball, which was aptly named ‘women’s basketball’ for the early part of the 20th century. This naming causes some confusion when it comes to the early history of women playing basketball in Australia.

The history of women’s basketball in Australia is somewhat cloudy. Early records are scarce, and it is likely that women have been playing the game for almost as long as men. The first recorded national Australian women’s basketball team was in 1957. The Australian Opals competed in the second version of the FIBA world championships, which was held in Brazil, and ended up finishing in 10th position with wins over Cuba and Peru.

The first national basketball competition for women was formed in 1981. It was named the Women’s National Basketball League, and has grown from strength to strength since its inception. Six teams from across the country competed in the inaugural season, and this number has since risen to eight.

Modern History

Modern Australian basketball is currently going from strength to strength. It has begun to compete with major sports like AFL and soccer, and in some cases is even taking players away from these sports. It numbers among the top few sports in terms of participation, and looks like it is going to continue growing over the near future.

The Australian Boomers recently recorded their best ever Olympic Games finish, narrowly losing the bronze medal match to finish fourth. Many Australian players are now playing in the NBA and in major European competitions, which bodes well for the future of Australian basketball.

There are also positives on the women’s side of Australian basketball. The WNBL recently signed a new deal which will see it televised for the first time in over two years, and the Opals appear to be developing into a powerful team on the world stage. Although things like AFLW are drawing players away from women’s basketball in Australia, we can still expect participation rates to rise over the coming years.

Basketball in Australia has a long and varied history. It started out small, and never really caught hold until the mid 20th century. However, it has skyrocketed in popularity since then to become one of Australia’s most popular sports for both men and women.

Although we can’t yet compete with world heavyweights America, Australia’s basketball prowess is growing. Proof of this is in the fact that NBA recruiters are continually looking to Australian players to draft – many of which have gone on to become superstars in recent years.

However, what people don’t realise is that Australia also has a large presence on the world wheelchair basketball scene. They have fielded a team in every Paralympic games since 1968, and have regularly finished high in the standings. In the last 6 Paralympic games, the Australian men’s team has performed exceptionally well, taking home two gold and two silver medals.

What is wheelchair basketball?

Wheelchair basketball is a sport played by people with various physical disabilities which prevent them from playing regular sports. Most of these people have difficulty or are unable to walk, which leads to the sport being played in wheelchairs. It’s rules and regulations are governed worldwide by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF), which ensures fair play and that people with unfair advantages or without disability don’t take part in high level events.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 people play wheelchair basketball across the world. This number is made up of players from the 82 countries with National Organisations for Wheelchair Basketball. People of all skill levels and from all walks of inflatable park for sale life take part in the sport, with competition levels ranging from recreational and social games to professional leagues. In some countries, including Australia, non-disabled athletes are allowed to use wheelchairs to compete alongside their disabled counterparts in lower level competitions.

Wheelchair basketball has many of the same rules and principles as standard basketball, but there are some key differences. Some of the modified rules include:

  • A travel is defined as when a player touches their wheels more than twice after receiving or dribbling the ball.
  • Some fouls are different to standard basketball, including hooking (hooking someone’s chair and causing them to lose control) and lifting (lifting your chair while in possession of the ball).

However, it is important to note that things such as court size and the height of the net remain unchanged.

Wheelchair basketball in Australia:

Wheelchair basketball is notable due to the fact that it is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and the fastest growing for athletes with a disability. Australia boasts a lot of international success in the sport, and is definitely one of the world leaders. The National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL) is Australia’s premier competition for wheelchair basketballers.

The National Wheelchair Basketball League:

The National Wheelchair Basketball League, or the NWBL, is Australia’s top-level men’s wheelchair basketball competition. It is composed of players from across Australia who compete for the title during an 18 game season. There are currently six teams in the league from five states, with games played across the country. The 2016 champions were the Be Active Perth Wheelcats.

The Women‘s National Wheelchair Basketball League is very similar to the NWBL. It is also played Australia wide, with five teams coming together for a 16 game competition played across the country. The most recent WNWBL champions are also from WA, with the Be Active Western Stars winning the 2016 competition.

The Australian Rollers:

The Rollers are currently one of the world’s top male wheelchair basketball teams. The have performed extremely well in international competitions since the mid 1990’s. Their most notable performance was the gold medal in the 1996 Paralympic Games, which were held in the USA.

As well as this, the Rollers also won gold in 2008, backed up with the silver medal in 2004 and 2012. They fell away a little in 2016, finishing 6th. However, they still recorded 5 wins and just 2 losses. They have also performed very well at recent World Championships, finishing 3rd in 2006 and winning the gold medal in 2010 and 2014.

The Australian Gliders:

The Gliders are Australia’s premier women’s wheelchair basketball team. They represent Australia in all international competitions, and have done since the early 1990’s. Since the year 2000 the Gliders have had a mixed run at the Paralympic games. They won the silver medal in 2000, 2004, and 2012, along with the bronze medal in 2008. However, they failed to qualify for the 2016 games after finishing 6th at the 2014 world championships.

The Gliders have traditionally done ok at the world championships. They competed for the first time in 1994, coming away with the bronze medal. They backed this up with two more 3rd place finishes in 1998 and 2002, but slowly dropped away after that to finish 4th in 2006 and 2010 and 6th in 2014.

Playing Wheelchair Basketball:

If you are interested in playing wheelchair basketball, then the best thing to do is to get in touch with your local wheelchair sports association. They will be able to tell you when and where the next competitions or leagues take place. Contact details for the relevant state associations can be found here.

 

In a late December game against the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs managed to claw back from a deficit to pull within one point with less than 25 seconds remaining.  Both Kawhi Leonard and then Manu Ginobili found themselves swarmed by Houston defenders as they tried to drive.  The chance of an easy basket seemed slim until Ginobili spotted Patty Mills standing quietly – and wide open – beyond the three point line.  Mills took the pass and calmly sunk the three with 12.9 seconds left.  It was 102-100 in favor of San Antonio, and just like that, the Rockets 10 game winning streak was snapped.

A Quiet but Inexorable Rise

His rise into the ranks of the NBA’s top players has been slow, steady, and largely unnoticed.  He was picked at number 55 overall in the 2009 NBA draft, playing on average less than 4 minutes per game during his first season. Fast forward a few years, and Mills has been steadily producing extraordinary numbers which rank him not only among the best in the league, but among the best ever.  Through the start of the season, filling in for injured point guard and Spurs comprar parque hinchable baratos legend Tony Parker, Mills was putting up a career high 11.5 points per game. But his efficiency tells an even more remarkable story; at one point Mills was shooting 51.3% from the field, 44.9% from three point range, and a staggering 96.8% from the line. Besides marking him as a front-runner for the Sixth Man award, these numbers put Mills in the elite company of legends like Larry Bird, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry, members of the “50-40-90” club (50% shooting, 40% from three point range, and 90% from the foul line).

It might be said that this season’s statistical explosion is merely the full flowering of a potential which Mills had revealed before.  The precocious Australian averaged 14.2 points per game at just 19 years old at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He improved this with an Olympic-leading 21.2 points per game in the London games (2012), outscoring American superstars Kobe Bryant and Lebron James.  Mills continued his penchant for delivering on the biggest stage, scoring second highest in the recent Olympics – an effort which saw Australia soar to a 4th place finish.

An Entertainer, a Leader, and a Worker

Patty Mills has a memorable personality to go with his on-court skills. Recall, for example, his taking the stage at the Spurs’ 2014 championship celebration to introduce teammate and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard with a humorous anecdote that had the crowd roaring. The Spurs can certainly benefit from such an expressive character; recently-retired Spurs legend Tim Duncan was famous for his “boring” style of play (his nickname “The Big Fundamental” was a nod to the fact that his game centered around the mundane basics rather than flashy highlight plays).  NBA reporter David Aldridge once pointed to the Spurs success as the best way to refute conspiracy theories that the NBA “rigs” the Finals to ensure that only popular and financially lucrative teams make it to the championship.  Aldridge argued that the league couldn’t possibly be angling for better TV ratings by looking to the Spurs to deliver them, since their lack of crowd-pleasing highlights made them “ratings’ death!”  But Mills has the personality to change that.

Coaches and teammates alike single out Mills for the personal qualities he brings to the Spurs’ efforts.  Coach Greg Popovich praised his point guard in no uncertain terms: “I think he’s really taken pride in becoming more of a cerebral point guard instead of just being known as an energy guy…He has moved the team where it needs to be…” Teammate Tony Parker, for whom Mills filled in as starting point guard while the former recovered from injury, echoed Popovich’s comments:

“He’s been with me a long time now, I love playing with Patty, I love being with him and I love him as a teammate.  He’s a great guy to be around, he’s the key to our team as he brings energy and makes big shots.”

Yet Mills’ fun-loving and energetic personality should not be mistaken for weakness.  After the Spurs suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals (just 5 seconds from victory in Game 6, until Ray Allen hit perhaps the most famous game-tying three pointer in NBA playoff history), Coach Popovich criticized Mills for being soft and out of shape.  A player who was truly soft would have pouted; Mills responded as a champion does:

“When Mills showed up for pre-training camp workouts at the Spurs’ practice complex in September of 2013, his teammates barely recognized him.  According to Danny Green, Mills spent a lot of time posing like a bodybuilder.”

The author goes on to note that Mills proceeded to have his best season to that point, hitting a series of big shots in games 4 and 5 of that year’s NBA Finals in a rematch against the Heat.  The result: the Spurs won their first title in 7 years.  Even the caustic Popovich gave high praise to Mills: “He changed his entire body. He came back svelte and cut and understood you have to make better decisions, point-guard-type decisions. He did all those things better and he earned it.”

The Future: Mills’ Place in Australian Athletics

What does the future hold for Patty Mills, and in particular, where does he rank among Australia’s great basketball players?  Australia is not without its share of talented NBA stars: Luc Longley won several titles as part of Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, and former #1 draft pick Andrew Bogut, once a member of the All-NBA Third team, likewise won a title with the Warriors.  But Mills’ exceptional play is already leading some commentators to pose the question of whether he is the greatest Australian basketballer of all-time?

His ongoing 2016-17 season almost undoubtedly makes the case that he is currently the best Australian player in the game, and if he continues this trajectory, it would be hard not to see him as the best to ever come from Australia.  Yet whatever Australian basketball may owe to Mills, Patty himself clearly recognizes the greater debt he owes to his home country.  As he explained to a group of schoolboys shortly after helping the Spurs to their fifth NBA championship, he is very conscious of this role: “You represent your family, mum and dad, your school and your culture…Now that I get a chance on the big stage, it’s even more important to remember where I came from.”  Mills certainly remembers where he comes from, but as he racks up the points, the experience, and the NBA credentials, he continues to make a case for everyone else to remember that he may well be the best basketball player to ever come from Australia.

6 of the best basketball shots ever:

Trick shot from feet

Okay, let’s begin with the classic trick shot: it looks spectacular, takes a lot of skill, and takes a lot of practice to make it work. However, once it has worked, the final results are spectacular and absolutely worth it!

In this video, we see a young guy – with a broken wrist – attempt to throw a basketball backwards into a hoop 20 meters away while doing a backflip on a trampoline. Sounds confusing? Take a look at the video below if you don’t believe it!

The world record highest basketball shot:

Sinking one from twenty meters away on a trampoline with your feet? Alright that’s cool and takes a lot of skill and a lot of luck. But what about comprar castillo hinchable baratos sinking one from 180 meters high off the top of one of the highest dams in the world? That’s exactly what Australian stunt group How Ridiculous did just a few weeks ago.

They travelled to the Mauvoisin Dam in Switzerland to attempt to break the world record for the highest basketball shot. Not only did they do it, they did it on just the third attempt! This is a shot which has to be seen to be believed.

Full court shot:

This is one of those classic shots which everyone dreams of sinking at some point in their life. There I a couple of seconds left on the clock, and the opposition is lined up on the free throw line with two free shots. The first shot goes in, and your team is now two points behind. The second shot misses, you manage to grab the rebound, and you launch it the full length of the court to have it go through for three points – and win the game for your team! The celebration says it all.

Some people practice for hours to get a shot like this in, and others never manage it. It is spectacular for a number of reasons: it takes a lot of strength to throw a ball that far, that accurately, and under that much pressure.

Missed dunk

Okay, so this isn’t one of the best shots ever, but it is probably one of the best MISSED shots ever! Watch as a young basketball star sets himself up for a spectacular dunk, only to fail dismally and smash the ball into the edge of the ring. I don’t think you could find a worse or most spectacular missed shot anywhere if you tried!

Messy landing

American basketballer Adam Waddell found himself in an awkward position after going a little hard for the ring. He claimed the rebounding ball and took off down the court with no one in front of him. However, he tried a little hard and decided not to slow down when he reached the hoop, instead going up for the dunk at full speed. This ends badly. Although the ball goes in, Waddell finds himself propelled in a backflip type movement, ending up sprawled on the floor.

The perfect alley-oop

The alley-oop is one of the most spectacular moves in basketball, especially when performed smoothly and with skill. Watch as the ball is passed across the D by the first of three players involved in the sequence. The second players grabs it and puts it up under the ring to the third player, who sends it swishing through the hoop. Every part of this sequence of movements is smooth and seemingly practiced and rehearsed, but it is completed in the heat of a game! Watch the video below for more proof!

 

 

Since its invention around 125 years ago, basketball has exploded to become one of the most popular and most participated in sports in the world. It is played widely on almost every continent on earth (except perhaps Antarctica), and offers major professional opportunities for skilled players. It has changed a lot since its inception, but the main rules and ideas of the game have remained the same. However, basketball has also inspired a number of variations and other sports which are played throughout the world. Some of these are simply variations of the basketball game, while others are new sports which are huge themselves. They include:

Half-Court Basketball

This form of the game is very popular in areas where space is limited, or where there aren’t enough players for two full teams. Usually it is played with either 2v2 or 3v3, but you can have up to four players per team. You only have one basket, which is located at the end of the court.

When a team gains possession of the ball, they need to carry it over the half-way line to get the ‘key’ which allows them to score. Once in possession comprar castillos inflables baratos of the key, the team then turns around and attacks the basket, trying to score. If it is turned over, then the other team must go for the key before they can score. This type of game is good, because it allows two games to be played at the same time on a normal sized basketball court.

3 x 3 – This is the official form of half-court basketball, and has become popular in recent times. It is the largest urban team sport in the world with almost 60,000 registered members. Its highest competition is the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, which includes huge exposure and prize money. As a relatively new form of the game, it is being actively promoted and grown throughout the world, so expect it to get much bigger in coming years!

Slamball

Slamball is generally seen as a form of basketball designed purely for entertainment purposes. While this may be somewhat true, it is also a relatively competitive sport in many parts of the world. It is usually played with four players from each team on court at any time, which is one less than traditional basketball.

The game consists of four short six minute quarters, and is extremely short and fast paced. There are a number of different rule changes from traditional basketball, but the main one of these is the court. Under each basket in the three point zone three trampolines are placed. This allows spectacular dunks and trick shots to be made by attackers, and impressive vertical defence from defenders.

Again, Slamball is often regarded as an entertainment sport, much like WWE. It is shown by major television channels throughout the world, and is played by a number of different countries.

Korfball

Korfball is one of the earliest variations of basketball, and was founded in 1902. It is played extensively throughout the Netherlands and Belgium, and less in many other countries throughout the world. There are over 100,000 people playing the sport in the Netherlands alone, and it is growing in popularity in other places in the world.

The teams are made up of eight players – four males and four females. They are designated as either defenders or attackers, and are required to stay in their half of the field. Defenders always stay in the defensive zone and vice versa. The hoop is very similar to a netball hoop, or a basketball hoop without a backboard. The hoop isn’t located at the very end of the zone: rather, it is two thirds of the distance between the centre of the court and the end of the zone.

Ringball

Ringball is the South African version of basketball, and has been around for over a hundred years. It is popular in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, India, and Mauritius. It is played with nine players from each team, and is single gender. It is quite similar to a netball game in that the court is divided into three distinct zones. Each zone has three players from each team whose goal is to work together to score points for their team.

The main principle of ringball is speed. Players must pass almost instantly after gaining possession of the ball. They can’t shoot when their defender is between them and the hoop, which means that they must pass around rapidly until an opening occurs.

Netball

Netball is the traditional female sport of the commonwealth. It was developed in England in the 1890’s and quickly spread throughout the colonies. The international netball federation (INF) is composed of 60 different national teams from different countries, who play in various international competitions.

The rules of netball are similar to both ringball and korfball. Players must stay in their zones at all times, and each position has different zone placements. Goals are scored by shooting through a hoop at the end of the court, which has no backboard.

Players aren’t allowed to hold the ball for more than three seconds at a time, and aren’t allowed to run with the ball. They must stay in the same place they caught it in, moving only when they aren’t in possession.