May 13, 2005, Newsletter Issue #214: The Hook Shot

Tip of the Week

Sweeping Hook - The classic hook shot was shot used since the very early days of the game, but was really popularized by the great George Mikan of the old Minneapolis Lakers. Mikan was the first really dominant big man and forced the NBA to widen the “key” from 6’ to 12’ so that it no longer even looks like a key.
The fundamental footwork the Hook shot is somewhat similar to a layup. Takeoff for the hook is from the “non-shooting foot” (the foot opposite the shooting hand). With your back to the basket, step so that the non-shooting foot is perpendicular to the target point (the basket) and rotate your body ninety degrees so that the shoulder of the non-shooting arm is pointing directly at the basket. The shooting arm is extended away from the defense and completes a sweeping overhead arc toward the basket, in the same ninety degree plane as the body.

SkyHook- The evolution of the hook shot continued with Lew Alcindor from UCLA (who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) Alcindor would actually elevate from the floor and upon full extension of his seven foot frame and long arm, would shoot a nearly unblockable shot that led to him becoming the all time leading scorer in NBA history. Many times he would set up the shot with a ball or head fake away from the direction he would turn to get the defender a little off balance. The footwork for the SkyHook is, basically, the same as in the original hook. Alcindor (Jabbar) would sometimes step first with his shooting foot and then plant his non-shooting foot covering plenty of ground, similar to the footwork when shooting a layup. At that point he would rise into the SkyHook and, more often than not, put another two points on the board.

Jump Hook-While not the originator of the JumpHook former Houston Rocket Hakeem Olajauwon certainly made effective use of it. Olajauwon may have had the best footwork of any post player in the history of the game. He had a variety of shots and would, quite often, fake one way before stepping back thru and going a different way.
Again with your back to the basket step, or pivot, so that the non-shooting foot is perpendicular to the target point (the basket) and rotate your body ninety degrees so that the shoulder of the non-shooting arm is pointing directly at the basket. Rather than shooting off of one foot, the JumpHook is executed with a jump off of both feet. While rotating the body, slide the non-shooting hand along the surface of the ball so that it ends up directly between the basket and the ball. The shooting hand continues to face the basket. If you are shooting with your right hand, your forearm should be vertical and the ball should be directly over your right shoulder. This protects the ball a little better than the jump hook, as the ball remains closer to the body. To make yourself as tall as possible, your shooting arm should be fully extended, with only a slight bend at the elbow. The release for the jump hook is a follow thru with the wrist very similar to the jump shot, almost “throwing the ball” very softly at the basket.

The hook shot series, when used with both hands, will make players most effective around the basket and enable them to score against much taller defenders.

Pearls of Wisdom

Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition. --Jacques Barzun

You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled then something has been lost. --Martha Graham

The champ may have lost his stuff temporarily or permanently, he can`t be sure. When he can no longer throw his high hard one, he throws his heart instead. He throws something. He just doesn`t walk off the mound and weep. --Raymond Chandler

Technique is noticed most markedly in the case of those who have not mastered it. --Leon Trotsky

The more technique you have, the less you have to worry about it. is. --Pablo Picasso

To focus on technique is like cramming your way through school. You sometimes get by, perhaps even get good grades, but if you don`t pay the price day in and day out, you`ll never achieve true mastery of the subjects you study or develop an educated mind. --Stephen R. Covey

About LifeTips

Now one of the top on-line publishers in the world, LifeTips offers tips to millions of monthly visitors. Our mission mission is to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Expert writers earn dough for what they know. And exclusive sponsors in each niche topic help us make-it-all happen.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Basketball Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Ray Lokar