This article covers a series of gifts that both serious basketball players and casual fans of the game will absolutely love.
I have spent over twenty-five years as a basketball player and fan. My own experience with the game, along with extensive additional research and personal knowledge, gave me the knowledge to find the best gifts on today’s market.
In my opinion, new shoes are the best gift you can get basketball players simply because no item is more central to actually playing the game.
Good footwear goes a long way for every single player, regardless of how hard they push themselves or where they like to shoot. Even if they stick to a couple of shots or pickup games in the driveway, being able to run and jump without worry is essential to having a good time.
If you’re curious about that or other top basketball gifts, read through the following sections.
Top Gifts for Basketball Players in 2021
The following excerpts will cover the best gifts and go over why they stand out in such a crowded market.
1. New Shoes
There’s nothing quite as important to a basketball player as a good pair of shoes. It doesn’t matter where they play, or how often, solid footwear is an essential part of any game or practice. A good pair doesn’t just increase how well someone plays, it makes everything much more fun.
While you can get by on older or more worn shoes, weak bases can reduce performance or even lead to injury. New shoes fix that. However, there are many brands on the market. Be sure you know which one your gift recipient likes before getting them a pair.
Read More: Best Basketball Shoes for 2021
2. Team Jersey
Every player or fan loves a good team jersey. Authentic options don’t just show support for a favorite team or player, they can also be worn out during a game, practice, or workout. Even if your gift recipient isn’t someone who plays a lot, they can throw it on to relax or watch a game.
There are two ways to buy a jersey, and both work as gifts. You have the option to either get the last name of a favorite player on the back, or you can get the recipient’s name (last or first). It comes down to how personal you want to make it, as well as what they would prefer.
Read More: Best NBA Throwback Jerseys
While jerseys are a great way to show off basketball pride, they can’t be worn on every occasion. That is where other basketball themed clothing comes in. Shirts, shorts, pants, and jackets all go a long way, allowing someone to show their love of the game in a different way.
You can either get a more overt option that proudly shows a team or player, or you can get something a bit more general that references basketball as a whole. There are even team-themed suits, cufflinks, and ties for more professional occasions.
4. Basketball Books
If the person you’re buying for happens to love basketball and reading, a good book is the perfect choice. There are tons of different options out there, ranging from first-hand accounts of the game from famous players to general stories and breakdowns of strategy and coaching.
Understand what the person you’re buying for enjoys, as well as how involved they are in basketball. If they play a lot, a book of tips to improve works well. If they simply love history or want a good story, a fiction or biography is likely more their speed.
Read More: Best Basketball Books
Dribble goggles are another great choice for players who are serious about improving their game. As the name suggests, the glasses are specially made to enhance dribbling. While not as well-known as other gifts, they are handy because they make the player keep their eyes up.
That then forces them to improve in a way that directly impacts their dribbling and dribble moves. Dribbling is one of the most important skills in basketball. Every player will love a gift that helps them in that specific area.
6. Premium Game Ball
You can’t play basketball without a ball. That’s why a premium one is the perfect gift for anyone who likes to shoot around. Though they can always play with someone else’s or use a cheaper model in a pinch, there’s nothing like going out and shooting with a fresh one with great grip.
Giving someone their own ball also allows them to go out and shoot whenever they want. While some gyms provide their own balls, being able to play on the fly is really important. Just be sure to get the right kind. Some are only for indoors, while others work better outside.
Read More: Best Indoor Basketballs
Though not quite as versatile or as affordable as a regular game ball, a smart ball is a cool piece of technology for any serious player. This gift offers a ton of features that bring additional statistics and analytics to the shooter’s game, including shot quickness and a full Heat Map.
This gift is mainly for players who are dead serious about getting better, but more casual groups or families who like to have competitions will also enjoy being able to see their stats after a shootaround. It’s a great, and useful, way to bring another level out to the court.
8. High Performance Socks
As shoes are such an important part of basketball, socks matter too. While there’s nothing wrong with regular ones, high performance athletic options add another level of reliability and support during play. They wick moisture, improve traction, and increase general comfort.
That mix of benefits ensures whoever you buy them for will have a good time while out on the court or blacktop. As long as you get the right size and brand, you’ll have a satisfied recipient. You may even want to get them with shoes to create a package deal.
Read More: Best Basketball Socks
9. Agility Ladder
While a bit more niche than some of the other gifts on the list, an agility ladder is another excellent item for basketball players who actively want to improve their game. That makes it especially important for younger players or high schoolers who want to get some extra edge.
It’s a tool that quickly improves balance, footwork, and general coordination. Agility or speed workouts are a key part of any team. A strong ladder gives an edge in such drills, and provides an extra step or two come game time. Great for those trying to make it onto a team.
Read More: Best Agility Ladders for Basketball Training
10. Shooting Sleeve
A good sleeve goes a long way. There are many top shooting sleeves on today’s market, and all of the top ones make great gifts due to their compression and comfort. They allow players to quickly warm-up and also help them shoot by decreasing muscle recovery time.
Though that makes it seem like sleeves are only for indoor games, the extra level of comfort they provide translates outside as well. If you’re buying for someone who spends a lot of time shooting outside, a protective sleeve will make their time there much more enjoyable.
Read More: Best Basketball Arm Sleeves
11. Compression Gear
If a sleeve isn’t enough, or if you want to go a little further, you can always buy general compression gear as a gift. The equipment acts largely in the same way as a sleeve, it just does so for other parts of the body. That makes it a great way to reduce general injury.
With this, you have the choice of buying compression shorts, elbow sleeves, or compression pants. You can get an entire set if you want, or you can get one piece. It comes down to what your recipient wants, as well as what they’re most likely to use.
12. NBA 2K21
The NBA 2K series is easily the most popular basketball video game money can buy, which is why any player or fan who owns a console will love the newest version. The game is an incredibly realistic simulator, delivering a real NBA experience directly to your computer or TV.
13. Vertical Jump Program
Every basketball player wants to be able to jump higher. Some even have aspirations of dunking. If the one in your life has such goals, or if they just want to get a little more athletic, a vertical jump program is an incredible gift. It can add a lot to a player’s vertical in no time at all.
Just be aware there are quite a few solid programs on the market. Get one that matches your recipient’s skill level and determination. If you get one that’s too advanced or too slow, they might not stick with it. If you get the right one, they’ll be flying through the air.
Read More: Best Vertical Jump Programs
14. Gym Bag
Every basketball player knows one of the most annoying parts of the game is lugging around your gear. With all of the socks, snacks, water bottles, headbands, and shoes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A solid equipment bag does away with that, making it a fantastic gift.
Get your recipient a tough, reliable model they can throw all of their miscellaneous items into. That not only allows them to keep track of their gear more easily, it also allows them to save their shoes by not changing until they get to the gym. Just make sure the bag has plenty of interior room. You don’t want to buy them something that ends up being too small.
A good gym bag works for people who don’t mind carrying their gear, but a backpack is another great item as well. Specialized basketball-focused options typically come with plenty of room on top for general items, while the bottom has a unique compartment to fit a basketball.
You can also simply get a regular backpack with plenty of interior space to hold extra items or snacks. That’s not quite as unique, but it works as a useful basketball gift. It comes down to how much needs to fit inside and whether the person you’re buying for owns their own ball.
Read More: Best Basketball Backpacks and Bags
Though it’s definitely one of the more expensive items on this list, an at-home hoop is one of the biggest and most exciting things you can get the basketball player in your life. It’s especially great for teenagers or younger children who want to spend time outside with their friends.
A solid hoop can be portable or in-ground. They can also be fixed or adjustable. When getting one as a gift be sure to find an option that fits into your general budget. Try to match your recipient’s size and available space as well.
- Best Portable Basketball Hoops
- Best Pool Basketball Hoops
- Mini Basketball Hoops
- Basketball Hoops for Driveway
One of the most annoying aspects of learning to shoot or practicing by yourself is rebounding. If you know a player who gets up a lot of shots on their own time, a great return system fixes that issue and makes shooting much more fun. It also makes practicing a lot less daunting.
Return systems are especially useful for younger kids trying to get a better grasp on the game. That’s because they help simulate catch and shoot situations you simply cannot replicate when you’re out on your own. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, they go a long, long way.
Read More: Best Basketball Return Systems
18. Ankle Braces
Every basketball player puts themselves at risk when they go out to play, even if they’re only putting up some shots in the street. Good, reliable ankle braces don’t fully stop that issue, but they offer a lot of stability and greatly reduce the chance of injury.
Strong braces make great gifts for players who spend a lot of time shooting with friends or inside a gym. If you know someone who plays on a team or who plays multiple times a week in a pickup or rec league, the item is almost invaluable.
Read More: Best Ankle Braces for Basketball
19. NBA League Pass
League Pass is perhaps the best gift you can get for any basketball fan who likes to watch games. They can catch their favorite team live, and they even have the option to check out condensed versions after they happen without any timeouts, commercials, or breaks.
The app allows for full online streaming, making it a great option for those who don’t have a cable provider. They can still get it on their TV through a game console or other smart device. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and takes watching to a whole new level.
Choosing a gift is never easy. If you have additional questions about what to get, some will be answered in this section.
What Should I Get My Basketball Fan for His Birthday?
It depends on what they like about the game. If they play you want to get them something that they can use out on the court. If they are more of a fan, you can get them something like a jersey or a book.
What to Get a Kid Who Loves Basketball?
There are many options. You can buy them shoes, clothes, or even a ball to play with. However, you can also get them a book or a poster of their favorite player.
How Do You Wrap a Basketball as a Gift?
You can wrap it as is if you don’t mind the person knowing what it is before unwrapping. Additionally, if you want to keep it a secret you can put it in a larger box and wrap that.
There is a wide range of fun and useful basketball gifts on the market, but nothing compares to new shoes. Good footwear is essential for all players, making fancy kicks a must-have for those serious about their game.
As long as you understand what your recipient wants from a shoe (comfort, support, stability, style, etc.) and know what brand they favor, you can’t go wrong.