PAN AM Basketball Footwork

pan am basketball      From hoop to hoop, your eyes will swim back and forth admiring this game of balance, power and propulsion.  Opposing players demonstrate strength and coordination in every step. Their eyes focus on the ball while their minds anticipate several moves ahead.  Basketball is a fun game of fast footwork and fancy ‘kicks’.

Spot this Footwork on the Floor:

Ready Position:  able to move in any direction, including jumping up to block a shot or standing still to take a charge.

Heels Up:  putting weight on the area of the foot directly behind and across all of the toes along with the ball of the foot. Raising the heels off the floor automatically lowers the body into a slight squat.

Wide Base:  standing with feet shoulder-width apart, wider at times

Jump-Steps:  jumping far and fast off one foot, landing on the other foot while regaining and maintaining balance

Sprinting:  lifting opposite leg and knee high up toward chest, while alternately and aggressively pumping arms

Two-Foot Jump Stop:  getting both feet airborne, landing with both feet touching the floor simultaneously and immediately dropping into a ready position stance to help regain balance.

Tripod Lunge Step:  when approaching basket for a layup, player has outside leg and foot as one point of the tripod, and two hands stretched out, as the other two points of the tripod.

Pivoting:  anchoring one foot to the floor with heel up, turning and moving the other foot without a causing a traveling violation.

Jab Step:  combining a pivot and a fake jump-step. Keep heel up on pivot foot for balance, change direction before dribbling, then push off quickly.

Crossover Step:  pivoting while bringing opposite shoulder, hip and foot across body and in same direction. Pushing off pivot using a jump step, raising opposite knee high.

Drop Step:  pivoting using leg and hip to block and hold off the opposing player.

Inside Foot 1-2 Step:  shooter’s feet and shoulders facing the basket; right-hander’s footwork go in left–right order, allowing player to brake, stop and gain balance and control on dominant leg.

Go to –


Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)



N.B.A Players’ Shoe Obsession


Pro basketball players score points under the net or from the line with passion.  They score sneakers on the street just as avidly. Wearing head-turning sneakers is part of ‘who has game’.  “Players want to be seen, and they don’t want to look alike,” said Jay Gaspar, the Phoenix Suns’ equipment manager. “Shoes become their identity.”

The N.B.A restricts players’ professional apparel to matching uniforms; they even supply the socks. But sneakers are different – the players are free to express themselves. And they do, with mucho gusto and mucho dinero. (Pleasure and pay checks.)

Go to the link below to see which player has:

  • four locations across different states to warehouse his sneaker collection?
  • a Nike sponsorship but gives himself a ‘sneaker allowance’ of $2,000 a month to buy more?
  • a sneaker vault in his home?
  • a 2,000-pair collection?
  • shoes accented in gold as a tribute to the Grammy Awards?
  • 200 pairs piled in boxes next to his bed?
  • splurged on 57 pairs in a single afternoon?
  • said he would love to wear a new style every game?
  • played in a pair of Air Yeezy 2s — an exceedingly rare sneaker, the product of a collaboration between Nike and the rapper Kanye West?
  • claimed to have “the best shoe game in the league”?

See also:


Sneakers: The Primer before the Polish


1. A Brief History of Sneaker Brands

Check out the link for a gallery of thirteen great pictures.  Here’s a cheat sheet:

  • 1916 – U.S. Rubber, Keds, original sneaker
  • 1917 – Converse Rubber Shoe Company, All Star, high-top basketball shoes
  • 1920 – ‘Adi’ Dassler, shoemaker for Jesse Owens (1936); founds Adidas (1948)
  • 1937 – PF Flyers (for Posture Foundation), distributes weight evenly
  • 1958 – Reebok is founded
  • 1960 – New Balance, the Trackster, in multiple widths
  • 1970 (circa) – Nike co-founder creates treads with kitchen waffle iron
  • 1991 – Reebok, the Pump, custom cushioning
  • 2004 – Nike, the Free, original minimal shoe
  • 2005 – Vibram, the FiveFingers, sections for each toe
  • 2006 – Nike, the Air Max 360, foamless midsole
  • 2006 – Nike, the Air Zoom, ‘talks’ to Apple’s iPod nano
  • 2011 – Brooks, the PureProject, for a natural stride.

Article by Dave McGinn, The Globe and Mail, May 12, 2012.


 2.  He Says “Sneakers” and… She Says “Tennis Shoes”

Josh Katz, graphics editor at the New York Times and PhD student – did an online questionnaire on specific word choices across the USA. This map shows the concentration of the use of “sneakers” as a vocabulary item.


Source for map:      

and more about this study:


This week’s blog will explore how sneakers have a wedge position in the sub-cultures of fashion and athletics.  Are we quietly trading our rubber soles, by another name?