16 Best Basketball Gifts: Your Easy Buying Guide (2018)

Do you have a basketball fan on your Christmas list and just have no clue what to buy? No problem, we’re here to help.

We’ve compiled a list of the best basketball gifts to help you decide what to get that hoops-lover in your life. Whether it’s equipment, clothing, shoes, or training aids, there’s something for everyone on the list. So keep reading below to see our recommendations.

Price: $ – $
16 Listed Items
  • Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

    Our Review

    If you’re looking for basketball-related gift for someone, you might as well start from square one and get them a basketball. The Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball has a look and feel like you should be playing under the bright lights of a pro arena. But its construction makes it ideal to the outdoors as well.

    The Zi/O composite leather includes full-ball pebbling which provides a tacky feel, which is ideal for streetball play. And the cover is also back-lined with foam for a softer feel with added durability. You’ll maintain a solid grip and control whether you’re inside or in the park playing pick-up. It measures (29.5 inches — official size) and features the official NBA logo.

    Looking for a different model? Then check out our post on the best street and outdoor basketballs for 2017.

  • Under Armour Men’s Raid 10 Inch Shorts

    Our Review

    Under Armour is no stranger to the athletic world and their Men’s Raid Shorts are some of the most popular on the market. They have a 10 inch inseam and are made of 90 percent polyester and 10 percent elastane. And they are highlighted by UA’s patented technology and other high-performance features.

    The HeatGear fabric is lightweight and extremely comfortable, while the 4-way stretch construction ensures maximum mobility. The material is moisture-wicking, so it pulls sweat away from the body while drying quickly. The Raids also feature UPF 30+ for sun protection and anti-odor technology.

    Available in over a dozen colors and various sizes, the Men’s Raid Shorts also have an elastic waistband with internal drawscord and mesh front pockets. Under Armour gear make for some of the best basketball gifts when it comes to apparel.

    If you’re shopping for a female, take a look at the Under Armour Women’s UA Double Double Shorts, which are perfect for all sports and physical activities.

  • McDavid HEX Compression Shooter Arm Sleeve with Protective Elbow Pad

    Our Review

    McDavid is one of the leading producers in sports compression sleeves and their 6500 Hex Shooter Sleeve is one of the most highest-rated and popular among professional basketball players. Compression sleeves are designed to offer support and stability to the arm while also helping reduce pain and swelling to those who suffer from tendinitis, tennis elbow, or general soreness.

    Made of 80 percent nylon and 20 percent spandex, the main highlights of the sleeve are the 9mm thick Hex Technology elbow pad and the Hydrovent Moisture Management Technology, which wicks moisture away from the skin to keep your arm cool and dry. Another plus of the sleeve is that it’s very long, extending from your wrist to the bicep. That added length will maintain muscle warmth all throughout the arm, while offering extra protection.

    Other features of McDavid’s Compression Shooter Sleeve, which comes in a single unit, is that it fits either arm, is machine washable and dryable, and it comes in a dozen colors of various sizes.

    Read our post on the best compression arm sleeves for basketball if you want to see more options.

  • Nike Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors White Swingman Jersey — Association Edition

    Our Review

    Put a smile on the face of the Warriors fan on your Christmas list with the Nike Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors White Swingman Jersey — Association Edition. The Nike jerseys are new for the 2017-18 season and come in three different styles — Association, Icon, and Classic Jerseys.

    Made of 100 percent polyester, the jerseys features Nike’s Dri-Fit Technology, which wicks moisture and sweat away from the body to keep you dry and cool. Other highlights include twill applique graphics, heat-sealed NBA and brand logos, and a straight hemline.

    Like all the gear and apparel at Fanatics and FansEdge, this jersey is officially licensed.

    If you’re not a Warriors fan, FansEdge has hundreds of other Nike jerseys in all teams.

  • Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe

    Our Review

    Sneakers, of course. Basketball players always need new sneakers. And the Performance Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe from Adidas is a super lightweight sneaker and also happens to be one of the company’s highest-rated — and least expensive. Beginning at about $45, most of the styles — it is available in 5 different colors — can be had in the $50-60 range.

    It features a light Cloudfoam sockliner and midsole for soft cushioning and support, while the memory foam footbed will give you a snug and custom fit for added comfort. The leather shoe is also highlighted by a rubber outsole for superior grip on the court; an air mesh tongue, collar, and rear quarter for extra breathability; perforations for air ventilation; and Adidas’ patented 3-stripe logo on the sides.

    Learn about more styles of sneakers in our post on the best cheap basketball shoes for men.

  • Baden SkilCoach Heavy Trainer Rubber Basketball

    Our Review

    The SkilCoach Heavy Trainer Basketball by Baden is designed to help improve in all aspects of the game — shooting, passing, dribbling, and overall arm strength. The basketball, which is made of rubber, is available in the official size (29.5 inches and 40 to 44 ounces) and an intermediate size (28.5 inches and 36 to 40 ounces). Most official basketballs weigh about half of what the Baden SkilCoach Trainer does.

    Using a heavier ball will increase the strength fingers, wrists, and forearms — vital parts for basketball, especially when it comes to dribbling and passing. If used regularly, you can expect crisper, tighter passes and a more powerful, quicker dribble. Usable both indoors and outdoors, the rubber outer cover is extremely durable and will last you for years worth of practicing.

    When it comes to training aids, the SkilCoach Heavy Ball is one of the most effective and best basketball gifts for players.

    Looking for improvement in other areas of your game? Check out our post on the best basketball training equipment aids.

  • Small Dual Action Ball Pump by Fitness Factor

    Our Review

    If you’ve ever played basketball, you know eventually the ball is going to get deflated. No worries as the Small Dual Action Ball Pump from Fitness Factor is here to save the day. Compact and light, the pump can be carried to the court or stored in a gym bag easily. And it pumps twice as fast as a traditional pump so you’ll spend less time working and more time playing.

    Of course, you can use the pump for any ball that needs inflating — volleyballs, footballs, rugby balls, really anything that uses a needle to get air. It comes with 2 extra pins, a liftime warranty and is available for just about $12. Makes a perfect stocking stuffer and is something no basketball player can do without.

  • Sklz Pro Mini Basketball Hoop with Ball and 18 Inch by 12 Inch Shatterproof Backboard

    Our Review

    Bring all the fun inside with the Sklz Pro Mini Basketball Hoop. The backboards are shatterproof made of clear polycarbonate and the 9.5 inch diameter springy rim is breakaway, meaning you can practice all your dunks. And the backboard has foam padding and brackets to protect your door. The ball itself is 5.5 inches and rubber (Note: it comes deflated, so you’ll need to add air), making it safe for home use.

    It is available in standard size (pictured), Extra Large with a 23 inch by 16 inch backboard, Standard Glow in the Dark with a 23 by 16 inch backboard, and Micro sized with a soft ball and a 15 by 10 inch backboard. It comes with mounting brackets and all the tools you need to assemble it. Perfect for both the home or office.

    If you’re looking for a different style or for a younger child, you can check out the NBA Slam Dunk Softee Hoop Set, which is available in most NBA teams.

  • McDavid 6446 Hex Padded Compression Leg Sleeve (One Pair)

    Our Review

    It can get rough out there on the court. And as talked about above with the compression arm sleeve, McDavid is one of the leading producers of basketball knee pads and compression sleeves and their 6446 Hex Padded model is one of their most popular.

    Featuring 9mm HEX Technology and an extended length, they will provide ample support and protection so you can make all your moves and cuts on the court without worry.

    And the hDc Moisture Management Technology is designed to keep you dry, cool, and comfortable as the material helps wick away sweat and other moisture away from the skin quickly.

    Made of 80 percent nylon and 20 percent spandex, the 6446 Hex Sleeve is available in 10 different colors and comes in both adult (unisex) and youth sizes. You’ll receive one pair of machine washable knee pads.

    Browse more options in our post on the top knee pads, braces, and sleeves for basketball.

  • TopTie Reversible Mesh Tank Top

    Our Review

    Tank tops are synonymous with basketball. It’s just part of the uniform. Has been for seemingly ever. And the Reversible Mesh Tank Top from TopTie are a comfortable and inexpensive way to look stylish on the court.

    Made of 2 layers of 100 percent polyester mesh fabric, each is fully reversible so it’s almost like 2 different colored shirts in one.

    There are 9 different colors and they are really affordable (depending on color and availability about $6 or $7), so you can pick up a few of them. They are machine washable — no bleach or fabric softener, though! — and you can also dry them on low heat. The tank tops are available in both adult and youth sizes.

    If you’re looking for a different material than mesh, take a look at the Adidas Men’s Basketball Heathered Tank Top.

  • Nike Hoops Elite Max Air Team 2.0 Basketball Backpack

    Our Review

    The Nike Hoops Elite Max Air Team 2.0 Basketball Backpack is a stylish and versatile way to carry all your gear. Featuring a water-resistant bottom and made of 100 percent polyester, the bag has a durable exterior.

    And there’s plenty of space on the inside. The innovative quad zipper system allows you to gain access from any angle. There’s a large main storage area and a vented wet/dry compartment so you can keep your dirty clothes separate from the clean ones. The bag also has a mesh sleeve which can store a pair of shoes up to size 15.

    Available in 9 different color schemes — Charcoal/Dark Grey/White is pictured — the backpack measures 13 inches wide, 21 inches high, and 9 inches in depth. Other helpful components are a side water bottle holder, an adjustable sternum strap, and adjustable Max Air shoulder straps to make carrying easy and comfortable. It's a bit on the pricey side, but the Nike backpack is one of the best basketball gifts this holiday season.

    If you’re looking for a less expensive option, check out the Lukatu Casual Laptop Backpack College Backpack with Basketball Nets Headphone Port & USB Charging Port.

  • Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop

    Our Review

    With the Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop, you’re getting one of the company’s most popular and highest-rated units. Silverback’s “Stabili-Frame” technology has steel-on-steel connection between the base and main pole, which offers maximum strength and stability.

    Portable basketball hoops can easily be moved around your driveway or street since they don’t need to be cemented into the ground.

    With “Quick Play” assembly (can be put together in roughly 90 minutes), the Silverback NXT boasts an Infinity Edge Backboard with edges that wrap around to the back as one continuous material, resulting in a much stronger backboard. Easy to move thanks to wheels on the base, which can be filled with water or sand to keep the hoop sturdy, the NXT’s height can slide anywhere from 7.5 to the standard 10 feet.

    To learn more about other options, read our post on the best portable basketball hoops and backboards here.

  • Spalding NBA In-Ground Basketball System with 54-Inch Aluminum Trim Glass Backboard

    Our Review

    In-ground basketball systems, on the other hand, require a bit more work. They need to be cemented into the ground, but offer tremendous stability and durability.

    Spalding is the official sponsor of the NBA’s game balls, so you can expect they’re going to put their name only on quality products featuring the league’s logo. And the NBA In-Ground Basketball System is just that. Durable, yet flexible, the system is highlighted by a 54-inch tempered glass backboard (1/4 inch thick) and Pro-Image breakaway rim.

    Compared to acrylic and polycarbonate backboards, glass offers the most bounce and gives the feel of playing indoors at a gym. The two-piece, four-inch diameter steel pole provides maximum sturdiness and stability and mounts into the ground (in concrete) to create a solid base. The height can be adjusted between 7.5 and 10 feet thanks to the easy-to-use U-Turn lift system and the backboard has an offset of two feet from the pole to allow for easier under-the-basket playing.

    Here’s our post on the best in-ground basketball hoop and goal systems available if you want to see more options.

  • Hxst Dri-fit Cushion Basketball Crew Socks — 3 Pair Pack

    Our Review

    Comfortable socks are a must for any basketball player. And the crew socks from Hxst provide that and more.

    The left/right specific design helps to get a better fit, while the reinforced heel and toe add to the durability. Each sock is made of Dri-Fit fabric (a lightweight, cotton blend), which wicks moisture away from your feet to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable on the court. And the half-cushion terry foot for helps absorb shock on impact for a little extra protection.

    These socks are available in 5 different color schemes — White, Blue, Black, and 2 options of mixed colors. They are unisex and fit men’s shoe size 6 to 13 and women’s sizes 7.5 to 14. They’re perfect for any basketball player on your shopping list.

    There’s no shortage of basketball socks on the market, so check out the Nike Men`s Dri-FIT Elite Basketball Crew Socks for a different option.

  • Nike Dri-Fit Home & Away Reversible Headband

    Our Review

    What’s more annoying than having sweat drip into your eyes while playing? Not much. The Nike Dri-Fit Home & Away Reversible Headband will eliminate that factor so you can concentrate on the game. Made of a very soft combination of a nylon/rubber/cotton fabric blend, the sports headband feature Nike’s patented Dri-Fit Technology, which wicks away moisture to keep you dry and cool.

    Featuring the patented and unmistakable Nike Swoosh logo, the headband has a classic and stylish look and, as mentioned above, it’s reversible. There are 5 different color options — White/Black (pictured), Black/Base Grey, Fuschia Force/Volt, Royal/White, and Varsity Red/White.

    It measures about 2 inches wide, it’s one size fits most, unisex, and it’s machine washable. A perfect stocking stuffer and one of the best basketball gifts for players this Christmas.

    Not a fan of this style? Read our post on the best cheap headbands for more options.

  • Basketball: A Love Story (Book)

    Our Review

    Basketball: A Love Story is a New York Times bestseller and something every fan and historian needs to have. Authored by veteran basketball scribes Jackie MacMullan, Rafe Bartholomew, and Dan Klores, the book is an oral history of the sport as told through conversations with some of the most iconic and influential people the game has ever seen.

    Released in September 2018, it is inspired by a ESPN film series of the same name. 

    The book is available in hardcover (448 pages), Kindle, and Audiobook and makes a great gift for all basketball -- and sports, in general -- fans. 


Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.