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5 Easy Steps to Play Basketball

author image Steve Silverman
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.
5 Easy Steps to Play Basketball
A basketball player works on his dribbling skills. Photo Credit: boggy22/iStock/Getty Images

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. Invented by Dr. James A. Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, to give his students something to do in winter, the game is played by some of the greatest athletes and provides thrilling moments to competitors and fans. Learning the basics can allow you to play and enjoy the game.

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Dribbling the basketball is one of the basics of the game. The point guard has to do the majority of the ball handling, but all players have to know how to move from point A to point B while dribbling the ball competently. Learn to dribble with both hands and keep your head up. You don't want to stare at the ball while you are dribbling because you want to be able to see the court, find the open spots and pass the ball to your teammates.


The game is about scoring by putting the ball through the rim. Shooting is a learned skill and the more you work at it, the more confidence you will get. Shooting well is about getting lift on your jump shot, bringing the ball to the proper release position, putting backspin on the ball as you let the ball go and following through. Shooting on your own before and after practice will give you a chance to improve your overall ability.


All players must make the effort to play effective defense. You don't have to be accomplished in other areas to be strong on the defensive end. Stay between your man and the ball, use your arms to clog the passing lanes and contest every shot without fouling. Playing defense is about effort and anticipation.


Rebounding is another vital basketball skill that is based on effort and intelligence rather than overall ability. Defensive rebounders have an advantage over their offensive counterparts because they are positioned between their opponent and the ball. Go to a spot about two to three feet from the backboard and face the backboard when jumping. Use your butt to keep opponents from getting inside position on you and grab the ball with both hands before bringing it down to chest level.


Find the open man when you have the basketball. Passing needs to be accurate and crisp. Don't hold onto the ball just to show off your dribbling. The faster you can pass the ball to an open teammate, the better chance your team will have at scoring. Use the chest pass, bounce pass or baseball pass to get the ball into a scoring position.

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