At first, I wanted to talk about food because everybody eats it and most people love it. Then I remembered that I was only good at eating food and not at making it so I scratched that idea. This presentation is dedicated to Mr. T whose picture of his high school basketball team inspired me. You’re going to need a couple things first.
2. All your fingers
3. Time to practice
The first thing you want to do is a little bit of a finger yoga exercise. Stretch them, play a couple scales on the piano, do finger push ups, just something to warm them up because this is gonna get pretty intense. After your pre-spin warm up, get the basketball and then put it on the tips of your fingers with a little space in between your palm and the ball. A way to judge is to place your index finger and middle finger together and have them be able to fit between your palm and the ball.
You’ll want to twist your hands towards your chest while holding the ball. Now rapidly rotate your wrist the other way and let go of the ball up to the air. Catch it with your finger of preference. Some people use their nails and some use the skin on the finger. For me, my nails aren’t as long as some people and it’s more difficult and I don’t like the idea of a leather ball being used as a nail filer on me. Instead, I spin it with my actual fingertip. Our fingers have ridges and grooves for grip hence our fingerprints. Though this is good for us, it’s bad for when we spin the basketball as this provides friction and slows the ball’s spin.
Once you have the basketball spinning, you’re going to want to keep the ball up there. It gets pretty impressive the longer you can go so the way you do it is by smacking the ball. That’s right, just hitting it. I’ve seen people use their fingers, their knuckles, the back of their hand. It’s just what you prefer.
Great! Now you can spin the basketball on your finger and keep it going. Now we’ll go over how to switch between fingers. Usually the first finger you learn is either the middle or index finger. To alternate between them, simply let go of the ball at the same time as when you push up with your finger. Catch it with the finger of your choice. Obviously, some fingers have greater distance to cover so you’ll have to compensate. The pinky and ring finger are especially weak at holding the ball’s weight. To counteract this, I like to provide support with my other fingers an my hand by putting them closer together. This creates a greater force that holds up the ball.
Now you can get creative. Try it with your thumb, knuckle, bend of your finger. Spin it on your palm or the back of your hand. Get funky with it.