Editor's Note: Sports reporter Sara Seyydin caught up with Bernhard Peat, Placer High assistant varsity basketball coach and former European professional basketball player, Monday, for instructions on how to become a great basketball player. This is the fourth in a series of how-to articles in Journal Sports to appear Tuesdays. A summary of Peat's basic tips, instructions and insights follow.
Shooting, dribbling and passing are three basic fundamentals to basketball that if mastered will put you on the path to becoming a great basketball player. Get in the gym and start practicing them today. Practice and self-motivation were what landed Peat a professional basketball career in Europe for nearly 20 years.
Shooting the ball and scoring points is ultimately the reason people play basketball, so focusing on fine-tuning your shooting skills is key. If everybody on a team can shoot well, defense will be much more difficult for the other team than if only one person is the breadwinner. Here are just a few of the many fundamental shots and how to execute them.
Basic Form Shot
The first basic shot to master is the basic form shot off of the glass. Feet should be shoulder length apart and knees bent. Your dominant hand should be bent at a 90-degree angle, with wrist bent, palms facing the ceiling. Rest the bottom of the basketball in your fingers. The other hand should be gripping the ball to the other side of your dominant hand. Your thumbs should be in a T-position. Aim for a corner of the square on the backboard closest to the side you are on. Your dominant hand should arc up and straighten and your hand should end up looking like a goose-head as you release the ball, using your wrist to follow through.
Another great shot to fine-tune is the fade-away. As an opponent blocks you in the front, fade away from them by shifting your weight back and shooting up and over them. Your form should be relatively the same as in your basic form shot. This is a great shot for getting past taller players.
With a jump shot, gain momentum in a drive, dribble the ball as you move forward and come to a sudden two-footed jump stop. Use the momentum of the jump to shoot the ball into the basket, keeping your original form consistent.
Reach Sara Seyydin at firstname.lastname@example.org.