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DeMarcus Cousins Anthony Davis

The Ultimate Guide to Playing Center

  • Date:
    Jan 25, 2016

Perhaps no player is more important to getting results than the center.

Centers need to be physical and tough. They are close to the basket, so they're counted on for high-percentage shots. Their rebounding skills are crucial, and they need to play strong defense to prevent easy baskets by the opposing team. They are the last line of defense and, often, a team's best chance on offense.

If you're the center on your basketball team, you have a unique skill set to work on. So start here -- this is a collection of tips, drills and advice that will help you achieve your maximum potential at an intensely demanding position.

Defense and Shot Blocking

You are the most important defender on the floor because you stand between an opponent and two points. Here's how to make the most of your presence inside.

8 Drills to Create a Great Shot Blocker: These practice drills will help you better anticipate shot-blocking opportunities.

• VIDEO: Defensive Slides -- Strong footwork is the difference between frustrating your opponent and giving up easy points all game long.

Shooting

Banging around inside offers chances at close-range shots, which your team needs. Here are tips for taking advantage of your size and position.

• VIDEO: The Mikan Drill

• VIDEO: The Reverse Mikan Drill

• VIDEO: Shooting Tips

Rebounding

A simple rebound can be the difference between a big win and a heartbreaking loss. Finish every play by crashing the glass, grabbing caroms and giving your team crucial possessions.

• 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Rebounding: Here are five ways to improve rebounding that you probably never thought about.

• VIDEO: Boxing Out


Strength and Conditioning

Centers play the most physical position on the floor. Make sure you're in top shape by taking care of business away from the court.

• 5 Exercises to Improve Power: Building strength is key to gaining an advantage inside. Here are five ways to do that.

• 3 Best Exercises For The Vertical Jump

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After its successful debut in 2017, the USA Basketball Women in the Game initiative returned with a conference April 7-8 at the Windward School in Los Angeles. In addition to presentations from expert guest speakers, attendees of the USA Basketball Women in the Game conference also experienced breakout sessions and small group discussions between speakers and attendees.

Youth Rules And Standards

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USA Basketball and the NBA announced a set of rules and standards for youth basketball competitions to enhance the development and playing experience for young athletes by helping them learn the fundamentals of the game and achieve greater on-court success.

Learn about USA Basketball Open Court - presented by Nike - which is a program that opens up community basketball courts throughout the country to children for free.

Level: Foundational | Skill: Screening

Level: Foundational | Skill: Team Defense

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