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The best gifts for junior basketballers

Whether you're looking for the perfect gift to encourage aspiring basketballers, or for something special for your junior athlete, this guide has it all.

Basketball gifts for basketball players

The best gift I ever received as a young basketball player was a portable basketball hoop.

I remember lowering the hoop to just the right height so my friends and I could practice dunking. I was out there all the time, practicing and imagining myself in a real team.

There are many different basketball gifts that you can get for kids who love basketball. If your child is a beginner, then they might like to play with hoops and other basic equipment.

If your child is already a bit more advanced, then you might want to consider purchasing some high-quality basketball equipment. This could include a new ball, shoes, socks or even clothing.

There are training aids to improve agility, ball skills, and flexibility. It’s important that your junior player has the best gear possible if they want to improve their game!

You might want to let them show their support for their favorite basketball player or team with jerseys, shirts, accessories, and souvenirs.

Or you might want to inspire a basketball fan through DVDs, books, online programs, and experiences. Game tickets and trips to basketball landmarks introduce basketball fans to the atmosphere and history of the game.

If you are looking for basketball gift ideas, we have some awesome gift ideas for basketball players, as well as non-playing basketball fans.

Gifts for junior basketballers

Our 16 best basketball gift ideas

Portable basketball hoop

Basketball lovers are always on the lookout for opportunities to play their favorite game.

A portable basketball hoop, not to be confused with a mini hoop (portable but tiny), might be just what you need to help them find new ways to enjoy the game when it comes time for gift-giving occasions like birthdays and Christmas.

Because I really appreciated my hoop, I have spent a bit of time on the benefits of portable basketball hoops:

Use it anywhere

One great thing about portable basketball hoops is that they can be set up pretty much anywhere there is enough space.

Whether your child wants to play in the driveway, at the park, or even in their room, a portable basketball hoop will do the trick.

This is especially good for those who like playing basketball but don’t have an actual court or backboard nearby since they can easily set up the portable hoop wherever it’s convenient.

Easy to assemble & disassemble

Another great thing is that portable basketball hoops are easy to assemble and disassemble.

This means that you can take them with you wherever you go, whether it’s on vacation or just to a friend’s house for a quick game. All you need is a few minutes and minimal tools to set up the hoop, so it’s perfect for those who are always on the go.


Choose a portable basketball hoop that is adjustable so that you can change the height of the hoop to match your child’s current playing level – letting them perfect their dunk or jump shot while others play basketball coach.

This is a great feature because it means that the basketball hoop can grow with your child, which will help keep them interested in playing for years to come.

Good value

Portable basketball hoops can be found for relatively cheap prices, and they offer a lot of value for the money, making them an affordable basketball gift.

This is because they are durable and can last many years with proper care, making them a good investment for any basketball-loving family.

So, if you’re looking for a great gift idea that will keep a basketball fan entertained and engaged in their favorite game, a portable basketball hoop is definitely the way to go. They are sure to have a blast playing with it for years to come, well beyond the holiday season or their birthday!

A new basketball

When buying a basketball as a gift for a future point guard, there are a few things to consider.

Consider the size of the basketball

The most important factor is the size of the ball.

A ball that is too small will be difficult for the child to control, while a ball that is too large will be difficult to dribble and shoot.

Choose the most appropriate material

Another thing to consider is the material of the ball.

Basketballs can be made of rubber, leather or synthetic materials like plastic and vinyl.

Rubber is the most common material because it’s durable and affordable for children to use without fear of damaging their equipment.

Get a new basketball as a gift

Think about other features of the ball

Other factors include design features such as:

  • How ‘bouncy’ the ball is.
  • Some balls are designed for indoor use only, while others can be used indoors or outdoors.

Consider all the features

When buying a new basketball as a gift for a junior basketballer, it’s important to consider all of these factors – you want to give them the best chance to be a confident ball handler.

NBA team shirt or jersey 

A basketball jersey or shirt of their favorite NBA team. If you are buying their favorite player’s jersey, make sure you have the right player.

Some children may be too young to read and understand what is printed on shirts so it’s important to consider this before purchasing one.

If they are old enough to understand, they will have picked out their favorite team and will wear it when playing basketball with friends or family.

If you are not sure you have the right player or know the right size, perhaps a gift card to a sports store would work. Just tell them you wanted them to pick their own jersey.

Get a jersey for a basketball lover

Tickets to a professional basketball game

Tickets to an NBA game make an excellent basketball gift for kids who love the sport. Not only do they get to see their favorite NBA players up close, but they can also learn about the game and how it is played.

Oftentimes, there are interactive activities taking place at halftime or after the game that help engage fans of all ages.

Additionally, the atmosphere in the arena is electric when watching a big game live. Everyone in attendance can feel their heart race as they watch basketball players score points and win games for their favorite team!

Of course, this can be a more expensive gift – you can’t send a child by themselves, so be careful not to commit others to have to buy tickets they can’t afford.

If money is no issue or if there are other people interested in going with the child, then tickets to a professional basketball game may be just what is needed for someone who loves sports.

Tickets to a college basketball game

Tickets to a college game can be the perfect option for a basketball fan.

College-level tickets are often much less expensive than tickets to NBA games, and many colleges have impressive arenas that make for an exciting experience – my home college team was the Pepperdine Waves!

Watching top-level college athletes compete is sure to get any basketball fan excited and inspired.

Autographed basketball

Autographed basketballs from professional basketball players are cool basketball gifts for anyone who loves the sport.

The best way to find out if someone has a favorite athlete or team is by asking them what they like about their sport.

Autographed balls are available from a range of sites. Make sure you visit a reputable site as you want an actual basketball with a genuine signature.

Of course, this is not always an affordable option. If you have an idea of which basketball player your young fan likes, you can purchase tickets and go watch one of their games together.

After the game, take a picture with their favorite basketball player and get the player’s signature on the basketball. This will be sure to make any junior basketball fan excited!

Otherwise, NBA team basketballs also make a great basketball gift.

Gym membership

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a young basketball player, a gym membership is a great option.

Gym membership will allow them to practice more often and improve their skills. Plus, it’s a great way to stay active and healthy!

There are some limitations to consider when gifting a gym membership to a young basketball player. For example, many gyms have age restrictions on their memberships.

Be sure to check with the gym before purchasing a membership to ensure that the recipient will be able to use it.

Basketball shoes

Basketball shoes make great gifts for basketball players. Regardless of whether the recipient plays for an organized team or just likes to play at home, new sneakers can make a huge difference in their performance on the court.

When choosing basketball shoes for a young basketball player, it’s important to consider the fit:

  • Basketball shoes speak to the wearer’s style and will likely become their preferred brand – until they get sponsored!
  • Colors are vital – my favorites are red and orange.
  • It’s also important to get shoes in the right size; buying shoes that are too big or too small can be just as bad as getting the wrong style.
Basketball shoes make a great gift for kids

Basketball themed gifts

NBA basketball gifts

Amongst the best gift ideas for basketball players are NBA team accessories and souvenirs.

Not only will they be excited to show their love for a particular basketball team, but these items are also an excellent way to get them involved in the sport itself!

If you see your child playing with one item repeatedly, it might be time to invest in an NBA team accessory or souvenir for them.

Some other gift ideas to think about for junior basketball fans: an NBA team hat, t-shirt, basketball backpack or jackets.

Get some NBA merch for Christmas

Even basketball socks can make the best basketball gifts.

These items are perfect for showing support for a team, and they can also keep young athletes warm during winter months.

Finally, don’t forget about NBA team posters and stickers! These fun basketball gifts are perfect for adding some extra decoration to a basketball fan’s room or playroom, and they’re also a great way to show support for a favorite team.

Player branded accessories and clothing

As with the NBA range of basketball gifts, there are many lines of accessories and clothing linked to current and past famous basketball players.

You won’t go wrong if you choose a player your basketball fan admires.

Popular sporting brands

And, of course, there are big brands and alternatives making “must-have” training gear that basketball fans will love to wear.

A budding basketball player may not fit into the Nike Elite socks that are so popular, but there are many other options that make great gift ideas.

A trip to a famous basketball city

Perhaps a family vacation to one of the basketball-crazy cities, like Los Angeles, Chicago or New York would be just what your basketball fan wants for Christmas, a birthday, or a family celebration.

You could plan out an itinerary that includes visiting famous courts, checking out museums, and watching some games at home or away. The trip will certainly keep everyone entertained!

If you have a young basketball player in your life who is not so interested in learning about how the game developed, you might find that this type of gift doesn’t suit them as much.

Basketball themed vacations are unique gifts

Basketball-themed games

There are a lot of great basketball-themed games that would make the best gifts for young basketball fans. Mario Hoops 3-on-3, for example, and other video games and board games.

Pick a game that is high quality, challenging, and tons of fun – or go for something silly you can all play.

Young Basketballers love video games

Basketball books or DVDs

A basketball book or DVD would make a great gift for any young basketball player who loves the sport.

Basketball books and DVDs are both affordable gifts that won’t break the bank, but they can be customized to fit your budget as well!

Basketball books range from biographies of NBA players and stories about teams, through to how to learn basketball.

Get a personalized basketball gift

And for our youngest basketball fans there are personalized storybooks that they can star in – they make a great Christmas or birthday present.

Personalized basketball gifts are always a hit.

There are also lots of basketball-related movies and documentaries that would be good for your gift list.

Gift certificates

Sometimes the best gifts for basketball players are not actual basketball gifts.

Kids who love basketball will surely appreciate a gift that allows them to get closer to the game, but what if you aren’t sure what to get or you would need to pay expensive postage?

A gift certificate to a local sporting goods store is perfect for this. The store will likely have all sorts of gear related to basketball, from basketball shoes and clothing to balls and hoops, from portable through to the mini hoop.

This can be a great opportunity for younger kids to choose their own perfect gift, or for middle school and up to experiment with different gear and find what works best for them.

Gift certificates are always a great idea

Training aids

There are many other things that kids who love basketball might enjoy.

Some great gift ideas are toys meant to build hand-eye coordination, a jump rope for fitness, or even an indoor mini basketball hoop that can be attached to the wall!

However, purpose-built training aids make some of the best gifts for basketball players.

Dribble stick

A dribble stick is a tool that helps junior basketball players improve their ball skills.

It is essentially a long, thin piece of PVC pipe that the player can use to practice dribbling in tight spaces.

The dribble stick forces the player to use proper technique and control when dribbling, which will help them become better at maneuvering around defenders when they are playing basketball.

Basketball-return net

A basketball return net or system is ideal for basketball players that love playing hoops at home.

It’s easy to install and it helps develop shooting skills, hand-eye coordination and stability while keeping the ball in play almost indefinitely.

Kids can practice different types of shots like layups, jumpers, or bank shots without having to retrieve the ball.

They can also work on their dribbling skills and try tricks with the basketball without fear of losing it or wasting time chasing after errant shots.

Most models are designed to fit most standard hoops so they won’t have trouble finding one that will suit both them and their parents’ tastes.

It’s a great way for young athletes to have fun while improving their skills and ensuring they get enough practice during the off-season.

Basketball cones

Cones are a great gift for junior basket players. They’re low profile and safe, yet durable enough to use for drills. These cones will help improve footwork and agility skills.

Agility ladder

An agility ladder is a great gift for any young basketball player. It helps improve their footwork and speed, which are both essential skills in the sport.

An agility ladder also teaches them how to stay low and move quickly around opponents. This can give them a competitive edge on the court.

Purpose built basketball training aids

These tools help develop ball handling skills, dribbling technique, coordination between hands and feet, and footwork for staying low on defense (defense is important in basketball).

Training aids may also increase stamina levels by helping players practice at game speeds to improve cardio endurance before games or practices.

The options for great fun are endless here, so there is no reason not to get creative when looking for a gift.

Instructional DVDs and online lessons

A basketball instructional video or DVD, or a lesson plan from basketball coaches online is an excellent gift for young basketball players that love the game and want to improve their skills.

Players will learn new techniques and drills from top basketball coaches that can help them take their game to the next level.

In addition, many of these videos also come with supplemental materials like practice plans and playbooks that basketball players can use to continue working on and mastering the skills they’re learning.

This is a great gift for any basketball player who wants to work on their game, whether it’s at home or with other basketball players in an organized practice setting.


Novelty gifts for basketball fans

Novelty gifts include cups, glasses, lunchboxes, lamps, and posters.

Some of the best basketball gifts are regular basketball items with novelty additions. A glow in the dark mini basketball hoop or regular-sized hoop, a basketball that lights up or makes a noise – you get the idea.

Be aware that novelty gifts aren’t always considered amongst the best gifts for basketball players by their long-suffering parents and guardians.

If you want to be popular avoid anything that may be more irritating than funny.

Novelty basketball gift ideas

Basketball coaching lessons

Basketball is a hugely popular sport, enjoyed by people of all ages.

If you have a youngster who loves basketball, why not give them an awesome gift that will help them to improve their skills?

Lessons with basketball coaches are an excellent present for any aspiring young basketball player. Here are some of the benefits of having a basketball coach:

Techniques and strategies

Coaching lessons can teach kids new techniques and strategies, and they’re a great way to learn about the rules and skills of basketball.

Nothing is better than basketball coaching lessons for Christmas

Teamwork, discipline, and confidence

In addition, coaching for basketball players improves teamwork skills, teaches discipline and focus, builds physical fitness, enhances social interaction, and increases both self-esteem and confidence.

Match your player with the right coach

When choosing a basketball coach consider the child’s age, size, and skill level, as well as the coach’s skills, experience and communication style.

Especially for youth coaching, basketball coaches are not just teaching ball skills, they are often teaching life skills.

Get some basektball coaching for your family basketball player

A quick reminder of our best basketball gift ideas

The 16 gift ideas listed above are perfect for any junior basketball player.

To summarize:

  • A portable basketball hoop was my favorite gift as a young player, and I recommend it to anyone. They can be located just about anywhere, they are easy to assemble and disassemble, and they are usually height adjustable. And they are surprisingly affordable.
  • A new basketball, with the right size, material, and bounce would always be welcome. If you can manage an autographed basketball – or in fact anything autographed – you will have found a great gift.
  • Training aids develop ball skills, agility, and stamina – amongst the many training aids available we like dribble sticks, cones, agility ladders and basketball return nets or systems. They are helpful tools, and really affordable yet cool basketball gifts.
  • For inspiration, you can’t go past tickets to a professional or college basketball game. Watching games on tv is great, but a live game is another level for excitement, atmosphere, and inspiration. Similarly, outings and trips to basketball mad cities and landmarks are also inspiring.

To demonstrate support for teams and favorite players:

  • any basketball fan will appreciate clothing and accessories featuring their favorite NBA team or player.
  • and, of course, there are many labels that are owned by or linked to star players. These are also popular gifts for basketball players.
  • Similarly, quality sports clothes and accessories from socks to training wear are good choices for basketball players.

Other great basketball gift ideas:

  • We also suggested a gym membership. If fitness is a goal, so long as age and access are not an issue, a gym membership can really make a difference to a focused basketball player.
  • And then of course we have the basketball-themed gifts, including novelty gifts (just avoid the annoying ones!). It is funny how much a little glowing in the dark makes basketball just a little bit more exciting.
  • Then, there are also DVDs, books, online programs, and games that relate to basketball and range from being great fun through to educational.
  • Finally, coaching may be one of the best gifts for basketball players. Apart from the technical skills, coaching teaches teamwork, communication, discipline, and focus. And coaches, like me, aim to build fitness, self-esteem, and confidence.

These suggestions are sure to give you ideas for gifts for basketball players of any age but especially your junior basketball player.


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