Basketball Tricks for Beginners

Adding a few basketball tricks to your repertoire can't hurt when you're just shooting the rock with your buddies.

Hook Shot
A good shot in terms of trickery, and also one of the few that can come handy during a game. Made popular by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (and later Magic Johnson), the hook shot involves taking the ball in one hand, and making a hooking/sweeping motion with your arm, ending with the ball arcing toward the basket. As you reach the end of this motion, gently rotate your wrist forward toward the cylinder, laying the ball up and in.

Reverse Layup
Another basketball trick shot that can also come in handy during game play, which also captures a bit of the hook shot motion. A reverse layup is executed by penetrating under the rim (usually facing the backboard) and hooking the ball up and in using the opposite side hand from where you started (if you came at the rim from the left side, use your right hand and vice versa).  Lay the ball off the backboard, to make the shot harder for opponents to block.

Finger Roll
Good for basketball tricks, good for games. As you approach the rim, use one hand to bring the ball up, holding it on the bottom. Once close to the hoop, let the ball roll off your finger tips and into the hoop. This shot is different from most jump shots, as the ball will have reverse rotation, so try not to overdo it. A long finger roll will merely bounce off the back rim and out.

Diaper Shot Basketball Tricks
Made famous by Wilt Chamberlain when he shot free throws, the diaper shot refers to bringing the ball down with both hands, between your legs, and then tossing it up to the hoop. Rather than pushing it as you would with a jump shot, the focus with this shot is more of an underhanded toss with less arc, but ideally more accuracy. Not a great competition shot, but an effective favorite in side games like H-O-R-S-E.

Reverse Diaper Shot
Wait, there are two of them? Yes. But this one's a little bit trickier. Start by turning away from the hoop, essentially doing a 180 degree turn. Throw the ball over your head as you bend backwards toward the hoop. Before you try it, simulate the motion by bending over backwards, finding the rim with your eyes so you have a basic idea as far as a release point.

Over the Backboard
Made famous by Larry Bird. Stand behind the backboard, starting out on one side or the other. Work on shooting the ball over the backboard (with a high arc, to avoid interference) and into the hoop. Give this and the others some work, and you'll be a Globetrotter in no time.

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