Best gift for a basketball player

Basketball

Basketball was invented in 1891 by Canadian-American physical education teacher James Naismith, who created it to keep track athletes in shape indoors during the harsh New England winter.

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Which gift for a basketball player is best? 

Basketball is one of the world’s most popular sports, especially in the United States, so chances are we all have at least one friend who enjoys getting out onto the hardwood. Whether they’re a 6-foot-5 semi-pro, a recreational baller or an armchair point guard, basketball lovers can be obsessive fans with a lot of opinions — and possibly some serious skills. 

If you have someone on your list who is a true above-the-rim dunker or a wiry backcourt defender, you can’t go wrong with a gift that reflects their “ball is life” mentality. From Knicks-branded knickknacks to practical Pistons gear, shopping for gifts for a basketball player should be a slam dunk. 

Best gift for a basketball player

For the junior varsity player

Max'Is Creations The Mug With A Hoop 16 Ounce Basketball Mug/Cup/Bowl

Max’Is Creations The Mug With A Hoop 16-Ounce Basketball Mug/Cup/Bowl

If you have a young baller who looks up to Candace Parker and Kevin Durant, inspire their dreams with this novelty mug that makes a better bowl. Kids can have fun while eating cereal, practicing free throws with mini-marshmallows and shouting “Swish!” before making a mess. Just be prepared to clean up after your superstar, unless you keep a cleaning crew on your roster.

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Little Tikes Kids’ Easy Score Basketball Set

Little Tikes Kids’ Easy Score Basketball Set

Before you go all-in on an outdoor full-size basketball hoop, get your young Kobe started with a fun and easy-to-use basketball set that provides hours of exercise and entertainment. Ranging from 2.5- to 4-feet tall, this adjustable kids’ hoop set comes with three junior-size basketballs and an oversized rim to inspire your little one to embrace their inner Shaq.

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Jordan Brand Boys’ Jumpman Hoodie

Jordan Brand Boys’ Jumpman Hoodie

Nearly two decades after Michael Jordan’s retirement, the Jumpman logo is as iconic as ever for ballers of all ages. Although this hoodie is marketed for boys, it’s suitable for all basketball players of the next generation.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

For the power forward

Spalding Jump Strength Training Aid

Spalding Jump Strength Training Aid

If your basketball player intends to stop shooters or protect the rim, this training system will help build the jump strength they need. It offers interchangeable resistance for creating explosive jumps and durable latex bands to help players build power during drills, making it ideal for improving speed, strength, jumping, rebounding, shooting and ball handling.

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Lifetime 54-Inch Backboard and Rim Combo

Lifetime 54-Inch Backboard and Rim Combo

For anyone who grew up with a hoop over the garage door, a fixed backboard and rim may evoke memories of running solo drills and launching long shots while shouting, “Kobe!” This gift might be large, but the price tag is very reasonable considering the hours of practice and joy that could accompany it. If a portable net is more suitable for your player’s space, you won’t break the bank — unless they break the backboard.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

For the player/coach

The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy

“The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy”

Love him or hate him, Bill Simmons is a true sports fanatic and historian, and this book is proof. Clocking in at a whopping 700-plus pages, this past, present and future chronicle is chock-full of insight, controversy and laughs, making it a perfect gift for ballers off and on the court. If you’re shopping for a Celtics fan, this book is especially great.

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Wilson NCAA Basketball Leather Folder

Wilson NCAA Basketball Leather Folder

This authentic leather folder is made by the Wilson Sporting Goods Company, a brand rich with sports history. Give your player-coach this gift that feels prestigious with its rich texture and iconic logos. It’s perfect for anyone from the upstart junior college trainer to the grandpa with an office in Rupp Arena.

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For the backcourt bulldog

Wilson NBA Forge Pro Official 29.5-Inch Basketball

Wilson NBA Forge Pro Official 29.5-Inch Basketball 

As of the 2021-22 season, Wilson makes the official game ball for the NBA, so this gift is practical in every way. Perfect for indoor and outdoor courts, this is the basketball the pros command, so it’s sure to inspire young ballhandlers to work on their dribbles and passes until it’s worn flat.

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Ballback Pro Basketball Ball Return System

Ballback Pro Basketball Ball Return System

This simple return system could save your baller precious seconds during solo shooting drills by feeding the ball back to center. It’s a great addition to the home rim for practicing free throws or three-pointers for hours on end, making it both inexpensive and priceless for up-and-coming guards looking to emulate Steph Curry or James Harden.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

For the swing player

Shock Doctor Adult MicroFit Strapless Slim Fit Mouthguard

Shock Doctor Adult MicroFit Strapless Slim Fit Mouthguard

Protect your player’s pearly whites with this slim, lightweight mouthguard that provides quality protection and support without feeling too bulky. It keeps the teeth safe while making it easy to drink water or call out plays, so it’s an inexpensive investment worth more than its price tag. Throw in an antimicrobial mouthguard case to protect the investment that protects their mouth, too.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Theragun Pro Percussive Therapy Device

Theragun Pro Percussive Therapy Device

This massage gun may be expensive at first glance, but it’s worth every penny for enhancing your baller’s muscle recovery. Relieve tension and stress with professional power that is smart-enabled with Bluetooth for added convenience. It’s strong, quiet and in a class of its own among percussive therapy guns.

Sold by Therabody and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Puma Clyde All-Pro Basketball Shoes

Puma Clyde All-Pro Basketball Shoes

While Nike and Adidas receive the most attention (and revenue), in recent years, Puma has been quietly building its reputation as a professional-grade on-court alternative. Named for NBA Hall of Famer and New York Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier, these sleek sneakers are suitable for men and women who want to distinguish themselves on the hardwood — in both style and performance.

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For the love of the game

NBA 2K22

NBA 2K22

The latest edition of the flagship NBA video game is another true game-changer. For the first time in series history, the game features six different cover athletes, including the Dallas

Mavericks’ young star Luka Doncic, Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, WNBA superstar Candace Parker and Japanese-American upstart Rui Hachimura alongside multi-year MVP Kevin Durant and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

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Matt Fleming writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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