Basketball Checklist: Essential Equipment, Apparel & Accessories for the Court

Basketball has become one of the most popular sports on a global scale. Unlike tennis, for which you need complete tennis gear, basketball is a sport that can be played with very little equipment. Moreover, it can be played outdoors on asphalt and dirt or indoors on wooden floors. So, before you lace up your sneakers and prepare for a fast-paced basketball game, check out the following list of equipment you should bring.

Essential Basketball Equipment


To play the game, you will need durable NBA basketball balls. Basketballs are now made with a combination of synthetic materials such as rubber, polyester, nylon, and leather. The ball’s pressure must be between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch in the NBA. The ball measures 29.5 inches in circumference. There are smaller sizes available for children ranging in age from 5 to 12. Some health care facilities or communities with basketball courts may be able to provide basketball balls. However, if you intend to play basketball, bringing your ball is always a good idea.

basketball balls


The official NBA backboard is made of clear glass, but a wooden or metal backboard will suffice. The standard for the backboard is 6 feet wide and 3.5 feet tall. If you want to go all out, you can get a backboard that lights up with red LEDs when the shot clock runs out of time. A backboard set can also be purchased and installed at home, either in the driveway or the backyard.


When playing basketball, you can choose between two types of games. When playing pickup basketball, you can play half-court with one hoop rather than a full court with two hoops. Basketball hops are made up of a backboard, rim, net, and metal post that keeps them in the air. Basketball courts must always have hoops; otherwise, they are not basketball courts

basketball hoop

Rings & Rims

When players dunk and hold onto the basket rim, a pressure release allows it to bend. The rim is an 18-inch-diameter metal ring. It is 10 feet above the ground and is attached to the backboard.
Basketball rims are classified into two types: single and double. Single rims are most common on indoor courts and are used in nearly every organized league. Double rims are common on outdoor basketball courts and are known to necessitate a bit more touch when shooting the ball.

Apparel for Playing Basketball


Basketball jerseys display the identity of the players on the court. It has the player’s name on the back and his number on the front and back that identifies him. The logo of the team and branding are also displayed on the front of a jersey.

Jersey’s sizing is available in the traditional x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large sizes and takes the player’s height, chest size, waist size, and hips into account.
Besides being a crucial mark on the court, jerseys are also a popular item of clothing for fans of professional or college basketball teams.

basketball jerseys


The shoes are the most important piece of equipment for anyone who wants to play basketball. You can play basketball in regular sneakers, but a good pair of shoes will give you an advantage on the court while also providing extra safety. Because of their stability, you will be able to move laterally and make quick cuts to beat defensive players.

Unfortunately, not all shoes are created equal, and you should try them on at the store to ensure a comfortable fit. Keep in mind that new basketball shoes may require some break-in time before they become comfortable.


Shorts are another essential piece of equipment for playing basketball. If you’re going to be playing outside in cold weather, you might want to wear pants. However, if you’re playing indoors, you’ll want to wear shorts because you’ll start sweating once you start playing. If you’re playing in a league game, your shorts should match your jersey. On the other hand, if you’re planning a pickup game, you can wear whatever colour you want as long as the opposing team knows which team you’re on.

basketball shorts


Socks may not seem important, but they help to prevent friction between your feet and your shoes. You can avoid blisters on your heels and toes by wearing a quality pair of socks. You can opt between long and short socks based on your comfort level and how you appear in them.


If you want to stand out on the court, consider wearing a headband. You can wear a classic cotton sweatband or a branded dry-fit bandana. Whatever style you choose, a headband will make you look great and prevent sweat from interfering with your game.

Basketball Accessories

Shooting Sleeves

The arm sleeve, also known as a compression sleeve, is a fashionable accessory that also aids in muscle recovery on and off the court. The decision to wear them or not is based on your comfort and preferences.

Shot Clocks

A shot clock is a device used to keep track of how much time the offence has the ball. In the NBA, the shot clock lasts 24 seconds, and in college basketball, it lasts 30 seconds. A shot clock violation occurs when the timer expires without a shot being fired. You can connect a shot clock to the backboard so that it lights up red when the shot clock runs out.

shot clock


You should bring a towel to the game if you sweat a lot. Towels are an excellent way to quickly wipe away sweat and return to the court, which is why the classic Gatorade towel is a fixture at NBA basketball games. Sweat dripping down your hands or into your eyes can be a major setback, so you will need a towel for any type of intense game or practice you participate in. Towels come in various sizes, colours, brands, and materials to choose from.


Although wristbands are considered non-essential basketball equipment, they can help you control sweat while also providing some on-court style. Most basketball players wear rubber wristbands with a message or meaning for a stylish appearance during games.