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If you want to be a true baller and head out onto the court with the right ball, you’ve come to the right place. We’re all about pinpointing the right sports equipment that makes your sporting sessions all the more fun and, in this article, we’re going to discuss the best quality basketballs available on the market today. A high-quality basketball is reliable and responsive, and can give you confidence when playing either indoors or outdoors.
Whether you want a powerful ball that gives you the edge when slam-dunking your opponents, or a brand of ball that’s going to elevate your dribbling technique, read on as we shine the spotlight on six of the leading basketballs for budding players to buy
Reviews of Basketball Balls for 2020
Table of Contents
Spalding NBA Street
If you want a ball that’s going to stand up to the rigors of playing competitively on the street, Spalding’s official NBA Street basketball ticks all the right boxes. The 2020-20 NBA season is almost upon us, with both the Clippers and the Lakers both tipped to do Los Angeles proud in the coming months. In the run up to the NBA Finals, you’ll see plenty of Spalding balls on-court. That’s because Spalding has been the official NBA Game Ball since 1983. Headline stars such as LeBron James and Kawahi Leonard will be working their magic on-court with Spalding’s finest.
As you’d expect from a basketball manufacturer that works so closely with the NBA, Spalding’s NBA Street design is one of the few models that meets all size and weight standards. Furthermore, the NBA Street model is manufactured using high-performance rubber, in a bid to help it withstand competitive gameplay on a variety of floor surfaces.
Wilson have long been the rival to Spalding as the world’s number-one basketball manufacturer, and the Wilson Evolution is a fine example of their prowess. The Evolution is a well-balanced option that’s made for a healthy dose of practice and competitive gameplay. The Wilson Evolution is designed primarily as an indoor basketball, so it’s probably not a leading contender if you want a hard-wearing outdoor option.
The Evolution benefits from a cushioned core technology that offers a more dependable response and reaction. The Evolution balls also boast a microfiber composite leather outer covering, which is crucial for players seeking the right level of control and grip on court. Weighing in at 1.2 pounds, it’s slightly heavier than Spalding’s NBA Street model.
Wilson NCAA Replica
It’d be wrong not to mention Wilson’s other leading basketball, the NCAA Replica. This ball is the official NCAA game ball for college basketball stars looking to graduate as NBA hopefuls. At just one pound in weight, it’s a little lighter than Wilson’s Evolution model, putting it more on par with Spalding’s NBA Street ball. That’s not where the similarities between the NCAA Replica and the NBA Street ball end. In fact, the NCAA Replica also boasts a composite leather covering that is made to be durable for outdoor and indoor use.
There are various design features that catch the eye with the NCAA Replica. Not least the patented in-built channels that offer outstanding ball control and grip in tight areas on court. In terms of its bounce, the NCAA Replica also incorporates the cushion core technology, just like the Evolution, to ensure a more dependable bounce, regardless of the surface.
Another great option for the discerning amateur basketball player is the Baden Elite Game Ball. This is an exclusively indoor option, with a premium composite microfiber covering that offers the same amount of grip that the professionals enjoy on court. It’s considerably heavier than some of the other options we’ve already reviewed, weighing in at a whopping two pounds – twice the weight of the NBA Street and NCAA Replica models.
Despite the fact that the Baden Elite might appear bulkier and less nimble than its counterparts, the Elite Game Ball features patented cushion control technology (CCT) which is aimed at delivering a truer bounce and a softer touch for long-term performance.
Under Armour Stephen Curry
Speaking of heavier basketball models, Under Armour’s Stephen Curry-endorsed model weighs in at two pounds, just like Baden’s Elite Game Ball. Where this ball differs from many of the traditional-looking models is its unique design, with a cool, contemporary blue and navy finish that looks fun on any indoor or outdoor street surface. As it is endorsed by Curry himself, who has a long-standing sponsorship relationship with Under Armour, you can be sure that the ball passes the test in terms of rigorous game treatment.
A closer look at the structural integrity of Under Armour’s Stephen Curry basketball shows that the outer covering is made from a durable rubber to ensure an all-surface option. Within the ball, a butyl bladder is utilized to improve long-term air retention, although for optimal game performance further inflation may be needed. Its combination of versatility and a cool design makes this a winning choice for many b-ball enthusiasts.
SKLZ Training Ball
If you are passionate about refining your basketball skills, or indeed learning how to play basketball from scratch as a complete novice, the SKLZ training ball is a very sensible option. Weighing in at a mere 0.16 ounces, the SKLZ ball is under-sized and under-weighted, with the aim being to improve the muscle memory and hand-eye co-ordination of players in fast, pressurized situations on court.
In terms of basketball technique, the SKLZ ball is hugely beneficial for enthusiasts determined to improve the speed and accuracy of their dribbling, allowing it to become second nature. That’s because the lightweight ball requires more bounces per minute, forcing players to improve their ball control until it becomes ingrained. It’s manufactured using a premium synthetic leather, which means the SKLZ ball can be used regularly on courts indoors and out.
There’s no denying that there are a growing number of exciting basketball manufacturers out there in 2020. However, you still can’t deny that the old ones remain the best. Spalding, Wilson and Baden continue to reign supreme, although SKLZ is an interesting entry-level option for those ambitious to add more strings to their bow on court.