Great Basketball Players

These observations are from Alan Stein’s blog. This excerpt from the series was originally put together by 5 Star Basketball Camps.

Today’s lists are part 1 of the entire group. There is a link to part 2 at the bottom of this article.

I hope these are some thoughts you can use to give more purpose to the roles you have defined for your team.


  • Great Guards are relentless on both ends of the court.
  • Great Guards use pump-fakes and ball fakes often. They set up the defense to go one way and pass/go the other way.
  • Great Guards know not to telegraph their passes. They use their eyes to create deception.
  • Great Guards welcome defensive pressure. They see it as an opportunity to score an easy bucket for their team.
  • Great Guards are patient with the basketball. They read the defense & act accordingly.
  • Great Guards facilitate every facet of the offense.
  • Great Guards don’t try to find the ball, they let the ball find them!
  • Great Guards are ALWAYS communicating with their teammates to ensure cohesiveness.
  • Great Guards hustle back on D when they get beat. They set the defensive tone!
  • Great Guards rebound their position – they don’t leave that to the ‘big guys.’
  • Great Guards push the ball up the floor and try to find an opening in the defense for themselves or a teammate.
  • Great Guards get everybody involved by sharing the basketball.


  • Great Post Players knock down their free throws when they get to the line.
  • Great Post Players have go-to moves with either hand to use in the paint. They also have a countermove for every move.
  • Great Post Players enjoy banging on the interior and setting solid screens.
  • Great Post Players are exceptional at help defense. They stop the ball when it’s in the paint!
  • Great Post Players can hedge on the perimeter and get back to their man QUICKLY.
  • Great Post Players draw double-teams, recognize them and react quickly to get the ball to an open teammate.
  • Great Post Players never over dribble.
  • Great Post Players run the floor – rim to rim – on offense and defense.


  • Great Teammates call out screens so their teammate doesn’t get clobbered.
  • Great Teammates don’t care whether they start or come off the bench – they just want to win!
  • Great Teammates HYPE their team UP before the game and during halftime.
  • Great Teammates are an extension of the coach – on and off the court.
  • Great Teammates are positive, supportive, honest, and enthusiastic.


  • Great Teams dig in on defense until they get the ball or the buzzer sounds. They NEVER give in because they’re tired.
  • Great Teams listen to their coach – they understand that he/she is looking out for their best interests!
  • Great Teams know who they want to get the ball to in the clutch – they have a game-plan.
  • Great Teams close out games and know how to play with a lead. They also know how to fight back when they are down
  • Great Teams are willing to share the ball on offense – they don’t care who scores they just care that they


  • Great Passers make scoring easy. They put the ball where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.
  • Great Passers can throw every type of pass – with either hand – depending on the situation.
  • Great Passers make the simple play, not the flashy play. All they care about is a positive outcome, not
    how it looks.
  • Great Passers fake a pass to make a pass.


  • Great Rebounders are quick off the floor – they anticipate where the ball is going and go get it!
  • Great Rebounders just don’t want the other team to get the ball – they clear out space for teammates to
    get the rebound.
  • Great Rebounders assume ‘shot is taken, shot is missed.’
  • Great Rebounders protect the ball after the rebound.
  • Great Rebounders attack the glass on both ends of the floor.
  • Great Rebounders have soft hands and great body balance.
  • Great Rebounders always think the ball belongs to them.
  • Great Rebounders find their man when the shot goes up, make contact, block out, then pursue the ball.

Click here for Part 2 of Characteristics of Great Basketball Players

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