What Basketball Should I Buy?
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February 15th, 2021
My name is Jason Warner and I have coached basketball for over 25 years at all levels. The purpose for this blog is simple. I would like to answer 2 questions that I have been asked the most times over my 25 year coaching career. “What basketball should I buy for my son or daughter?” and coming in at close second, “What size basketball do I need to get?”
While this seems like a pretty simple and straight-forward answer(s), it isn’t.
Simple GIRL BASKETBALL Answer #1: The BEST basketball for GIRLS at ALL age levels is the Wilson Evolution size 28.5”. To clarify, whether your daughter is in 2nd Grade or playing collegiate basketball at UCONN for legendary coach Geno Auriemma or playing in the WNBA, girls will use the same size ball.
Simple BOY BASKETBALL Answer #2: For ages Kindergarten through 5th grade you would buy the exact same ball I suggested for girls above. Wilson Evolution size 28.5”
Simple BOY BASKETBALL Answer #3 FOR 6TH GRADE THROUGH THE NBA: For ages 6th grade through the NBA you will buy the ball sized 29.5”. Once again, I would suggest the Wilson Evolution brand.
FAQ’s answered by Coach Warner:
What Basketball does the Illinois High School Association endorse? The IHSA endorses or uses the same ball I would suggest. The Wilson Evolution
What Basketball does the NCAA endorse? The NCAA actually endorses a Wilson ball as well which is similar to the Evolution called the Solution. Since your son or daughter will be playing with the Wilson Evolution through high school, you should buy the Wilson once again. 🙂
What Basketball does the NBA endorse? The NBA uses Spalding Brand of Basketball which is pretty good but I believe the Wilson Evolution is a better basketball. The Spalding NBA Official Ball also costs around $20 more than the Wilson Evolution and is NOT worth the extra money since it is NOT as good of a basketball IMO.
Why shouldn’t I buy a Wilson Evolution Basketball? If your child is playing outside on the concrete with the basketball, I wouldn’t suggest buying the Wilson Evolution basketball.
What is the difference between a Leather Basketball and a Composite Leather Basketball? A leather basketball like the one I suggested in the Wilson Evolution is to be used for indoor purposes only. A composite leather basketball is typically suggested for both indoor and outdoor (concrete) but in my opinion best for outdoor play only. Here is a composite Wilson basketball in the $30 range but you could also find a Spalding, Under Armour, Baden or Nike Basketball for outdoor purposes between $25 – $35. Remember, the same sizes apply to these basketballs.
Girls Composite or 5th Grade and Below 28.5″
Boys Composite 29.5″
The above answers are my opinions based on my experience and the links shared above are affiliate links to products on Amazon. Thanks for your support and hope this helps your purchasing questions. Please feel free to email Coach Warner at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Coach Jason Warner