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A Quick Guide to Basketball-Wear

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You might not think it, but basketball is by far the most played sport in the US. Research in 2021 found that 27.1 million Americans shot some hoops at some point in the year. This was some11.5 million more people than picked up a baseball bat or took to the pitcher’s mound.

You can also be sure that they took to the court wearing a wide variety of kit, from NBA-licensed outfits to any old sportswear and sneakers that came to hand. In fact, two of the great things about the game are that you can play it pretty much anywhere from city-centre outdoor courts to dedicated indoor arenas, and that there’s a wide range of suitable clothing available.

What to wear for the game

Whatever level you’re playing at, the basic basketball “uniform” stays pretty much the same – top, shorts and sneakers, So, let’s take a closer look at each one in turn.

At its best, basketball is a fast-moving game that included bursts of acceleration and quick changes of direction by players. This means that you can get pretty hot, pretty quickly. So tops need to be loose fitting and also made from the sort of material that wicks sweat and moisture away from the body.

Moving into the shorts, these need to be both snug fitting enough to stay up – you don’t want any fashion-fails on court – but also loose enough to allow the same freedom of movement as the jersey. Lots of players, even when they’re practising, go for the classic jersey-short set with smart and matching top and bottoms that don’t show any team affiliations. They’re great for informal games and even for practice when the weather’s warm enough.

There’s also a trend for players to wear tights under their shorts. In a game that involves lots of jumping and running, these offer several benefits and can even help to prevent injury. This is because they can prevent muscle swelling, regulate the temperature of the legs, and give extra support to the knees.

Last, but not least, there’s the choice of footwear. Arguably, the sneakers you wear are the most important pieces of kit of all. They are literally the launching pads and shock absorbers for those leaps in the air, so they need to offer plenty of cushioning. There’s the choice of high tops, that give valuable ankle support and mid tops which don’t provide as much support but are better for speed.

Practice time

They say that practice makes perfect and it’s certainly true that the more time you spend honing your skills, the better player you’ll become. Naturally, you can wear all of the above for practice but there are some other requirements too. Until you’re fully warmed up there’s always the risk of injury. So, starting a practice session with additional layers like a sweatshirt or a hoodie and a pair of jogging bottoms is always going to be a good idea. You can either shed layers as a you warm up or, if you’re on an outside court when the weather’s cold, just keep them on for the whole session.

NBA official merchandise

Pretty much whatever gear you want to wear, you can be sure that it’s available as NBA merchandise. In fact, they raise an estimated one billion dollars a year from its sales. So, whenever you buy a replica shirt or shorts, you’ll be helping to support the game that you love.

Follow your style icons

There are also some basketball players who have transcended even their skills on the court to become genuine style leaders. Michael Jordan and LeBron James are just two examples. So, it could also pay to take a look at their Instagram feeds to pick up some tips. Then, even if your skills can’t quite match up to theirs, at least you’ll be able to look like them on court!

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