The basketball hook shot isn't just a throwback to the days of short shorts and high socks; it's a timeless classic that can make you the Picasso of the paint.

What is a hook shot in basketball?

The hook shot is a one-handed shot that allows offensive players to create space and score in the face of towering defenders.

This move isn't just about looking good; it's about scoring points.

Imagine you're a ballerina with a basketball, pirouetting in the post, and then—bam!—you unleash a one-handed shot that arcs over the outstretched arms of the defender like a rainbow finding a pot of gold. That, my friends, is the hook shot.

It's like having a secret weapon in your arsenal that's part finesse, part brute force, and all awesome.

Anatomy of the Hook Shot

To execute the perfect hook shot, you need to channel your inner NBA legends. Think of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the leading scorer in NBA history, who turned the sky hook into an art form. The shooting arm is your brush, the basketball court your canvas. You start with the ball cradled in your shooting hand, your elbow bent like you're about to arm-wrestle an octopus.

As you make your move, your non-shooting hand is like a bouncer at a club, keeping defenders at bay. You pivot on one foot—let's say the left foot if you're shooting with your right hand—and then, with a sweeping motion, you launch the ball towards the hoop. Your wrist does a little flick to add that essential backspin, and voilà! The ball kisses the net, and you trot back to half court with a grin.

Different Hook Shots for Different Folks

Now, not all hook shots are created equal. There's the baby hook, the jump hook, and the granddaddy of them all, the sky hook. The baby hook is like the appetizer of hook shots—quick, simple, and effective. It's a shorter, softer version that's perfect when you're just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the hoop.

Then there's the jump hook, where the offensive player jumps off two feet, giving it a bit more oomph. It's like the main course, a bit more filling and a lot more satisfying when it goes in. And for those who really want to impress, there's the sky hook. It's the dessert, the showstopper, the shot that has defenders questioning their life choices as the ball arcs gracefully over their heads.


Great hook shots start with great footwork. It's like doing the tango with the basketball. You've got to have balance, rhythm, and the ability to pivot without tripping over your own feet. Whether you're a low post player looking to score from the baseline side or a guard trying to shake off a pesky defender in the middle of the court, your feet are your foundation.

When you catch the ball, you plant one foot (let's call it the anchor) and use the other to pivot and create space. It's a dance, a duel, a delicate balance between power and poise. And when you pull it off, it's as satisfying as nailing that final move in a dance-off.

The Hook Shot in Action

Let's take a trip down memory lane to the 1980s, where the Los Angeles Lakers' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is schooling everyone with his sky hook. He catches the ball in the low post, his back to the basket. With a defender glued to him like a bad suit, Kareem pivots on his left foot, his right leg sweeping forward for balance.

Sky Hook

As he rises, his right arm extends like the mast of a ship, the ball perched at the end. With a flick of his wrist, the ball sails over the defender's outstretched hand and swishes through the net. The crowd goes wild, and somewhere in the stands, a young fan decides that's going to be their signature move.

The Hook Shot's Place in Today's Game

You might think the hook shot is old school, but it's making a comeback faster than 80s fashion. In today's game, where three-pointers are all the rage, the hook shot is like a secret handshake among the basketball cognoscenti. It's a way for players to stand out, to show they've got more in their bag than just a jump shot.

Taller players and those with a knack for post moves are rediscovering the hook shot's charm. It's a way to score in the crowded paint, where space is at a premium and every point is a battle. Plus, let's be honest, it looks cool. And in a game where style points matter, the hook shot is a slam dunk.

Hook Shot FAQ Section

Can shorter players effectively use hook shots in their game?

Absolutely! While taller players may have an easier time shooting over defenders, shorter players can use the hook shot's sweeping motion and quick release to create space and get their shot off.

How important is the non-shooting hand in a hook shot?

The non-shooting hand is crucial for protecting the ball and maintaining balance during the shot. It's like the unsung hero of the hook shot, doing all the dirty work while the shooting hand gets the glory.

Are hook shots only for post players?

Not at all! While traditionally used by low post players, the hook shot can be a valuable tool for any player looking to diversify their offensive game and score in the paint. It's a versatile move that can catch defenders off guard, no matter your position on the court.


The hook shot is a classic move that combines grace, skill, and a touch of old-school flair. From the baby hook to the skyhook, this shot is all about creating space, using your body, and having the right touch. With proper footwork and a bit of practice, you too can add this stylish move to your game and leave defenders in awe.