The hook shot is a shot attempt in basketball where the player turns sideways and swings his shooting arm in a hooking motion to release the ball.
What is a hook shot in basketball?
The hook shot is a shot attempt primarily taken by taller players in close range of the basket. The player turns sideways and smoothly throws the ball in a sweeping motion with an upward trajectory to do the hook shot. The shooting usually starts from the side and ends up over the head in a follow-through.
- Anyone can attempt a hook shot, but it’s traditionally a weapon for big men in the post.
- The hook shot was made famous and perfected by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, although the shot was first seen years before.
- The hook shot is probably the most difficult shot to block in all of basketball.
- While all the big men of old, from George Mikan to Abdul-Jabbar, have mastered the hook shot, it is deemed a forgotten art in modern basketball. As NBA offenses became perimeter-oriented, it is rare to see the hook shot nowadays.
Tips on How To Complete a Hook Shot
● The ideal hook shot is taken from a sideways position so that your body shields the shooting hand from the defender. Moreover, the non-shooting hand also protects the defender along with the shoulders.
● When doing the hook shot, jump with the foot closest to the basket. The shooting arm makes a sweeping motion from around your head, and the ball is launched with a flick of the wrist.
Here is a video that explains these concepts well.
How To Do A Hook Shot Video
Types of Hook Shots
All types of hook shots have the same basic principles but differ slightly in overall execution.
1.) The Classic Hook Shot
The “classic” hook shot was the hook shot used by George Mikan and the earliest NBA players. It is done by doing a sideways pivot on the non-shooting foot, that is, the left foot if the shooter is right-handed and vice-versa. The pivot foot in a classic hook shot always remains planted on the ground. The non-shooting shoulder is pointed toward the hoop while shielding the ball from the defender. The ball is released in a sweeping motion from the fingertips with a snap of the wrist.
2.) The Skyhook
This is the type of hook shot perfect by the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Again, its basic principles– non-shooting foot pivot, turning sideways, and the sweeping motion– are the same. However, the main difference between the skyhook is the pivot foot does remain planted. Instead, the shot is aided by a jump with a greater arm extension, making it more unstoppable. What’s more, because of the power generated by the jump, the skyhook can be used at farther distances than the classic hook shot.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 70 Sky Hooks Video
3.) The Jump Hook
The jump hook is the culmination of the classic hook shot and the skyhook. It is a much more modern-looking shot than the classic hook and skyhook, although the fundamentals are largely the same, unsurprisingly. The main difference is that in the jump hook, instead of jumping off of one foot like the skyhook, the player jumps off two feet.
The ball is flicked in a much quicker fashion, but its release point is not as high as the skyhook. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal had a very reliable jump hook as part of his post moves package. Celtics great Dave Cowens was also efficient with the jump hook.
Shaq Jump Hooks Video
4.) Baby Hook
The baby hook is a hook shot made near the basket but not with the same extension as the classic hook. Instead of having the ball go around in a wider range (as in the classic hook or skyhook), the baby hook is basically a power move aiming to push the ball up into the basket.
More Hook Shot Facts
● The first documented hook shot was done by a Lithuanian basketball player named Pranas Talzunas. Talzunas pulled off the move in a Eurobasket tournament way back in 1937.
● George Mikan, regarded as the first great big man, developed a potent hook shot playing in college at DePaul University in the 1940s.
● The skyhook was regarded as a pretty much unblockable shot, but some players did the improbable. Some players that have blocked a skyhook were Wilt Chamberlain, Ralph Sampson, and Manute Bol.
Wilt Chamberlain Blocking Sky Hook Video
Players Who Blocked Kareen’s Skyhook Video
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