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JumpUSA.com Tip: Basketball is probably the one sport with the most ball choices. How do you choose from among all the basketballs on the market? The most popular brand is Spalding, a name which is synonomous with the sport of basketball. They make the official NBA ball and quality competition balls. The NBA ball is made of leather, a material used only at the pro level. In 2007, the league introduced a new synthetic leather ball with special moisture wicking properties. A widespread outcry from players forced the league to revert back to its original leather ball. At the college and recreational level, synthetic leather is universally accepted. The NCAA uses Wilson Solution basketballs. Look for the NHFS approval stamp which indicates that the ball is santioned for official high School play.
Basketball construction technology has come a long way. Spalding recently introduced the Neverflat basketball which is guaranteed to stay fully inflated for at least one year, which is 10 times longer than traditional basketballs. Spalding also has a line of balls called the Infusion which has a built-in pump. A pump handle pops out when you unscrew a button flushly set into the ball. Remarkably, the ball has perfect balance and feel.
Channel depth varies among basketballs. Deep channel depth is an extra premium feature found in some balls. Deep channel depth favors shooters because you can grip them better and impart stronger rotation with a flick of the wrist at follow thru. An example of a deep channel ball is the Spalding ZK Pro. Traditional shallow channel balls include the Spalding TF1000 and the Wilson Evolution.
Then there are training basketballs, such as the Heavyball which weighs 2.5x regulation. Bigballs are oversized in circumference forcing you to shoot with a higher arc. There are special shot training balls with rotational stripes to teach proper release alignment.
If you play basketball with any regularity, a ball will last about 3-6 months which is roughly about a season. You'll have plenty of opportunities to try or buy these various types of basketballs.