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Geeking Out on the Future of Basketball

Ahhhh Spring…the season of budding trees, blooming flowers, baby animals, and the NBA playoffs.  Basketball is one of the most distinctive and instantly recognizable games across the globe. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry. It inspires total devotion from its supporters. What’s more, the effort shown on the court from its star players (we’re looking at you Steph Curry) is being repeated by engineers and designers worldwide…wait, what?

Yep, you read that correctly.  Basketball has become a science-led sport, moving swiftly with the digital age. It’s an advancement that has seen shooting hoops become as tech savvy as the next generation smartphone. As we cheer on our teams through the NBA playoffs, let’s take a look at how the action on the court is being shaped by the progress of today.

The Stats Don’t Lie

This isn’t known as the information age for no reason. It’s a data-driven world and basketball’s playing ball. The digital revolution has enveloped and evolved the way the game is played, planned and, crucially, won.

The NBA amasses a serious amount of data from its matches. From contested rebounds to assists, to shooting percentages and defenses, every inch of the game produces a bewildering litany of stats and figures. Hard, quantifiable data from which managers, coaches and execs can make informed decisions. Tangible information that can form the basis of a team’s winning strategy. Need to know which player had the most successful turnovers, blocks and steals? Simple. It’s all there in black and white, providing invaluable data to the wily coach, planning their next victory.

That’s not the only way that coaches keep tabs on their players, however…

Just Wear It

Just as many other sports have embraced wearable technology, basketball has been just as, well, on the ball in this regard. Almost. The NBA may have banned wearable tech sensors during official games, but it’s on the court in practice. Literally.

Heart monitors, replay analyzers and shot trackers have all become key weapons in the basketball team’s training arsenal. Sensors that feed to the coach information on jump acceleration, rotation and hang time offer invaluable insight into how best to utilize particular players, and how to prevent injury.

Running Ahead of the Game

Of course, one item of wearable tech utterly vital to basketball usually comes in pairs…the not so humble sneaker. Basketball footwear is as essential to the game as a slam dunk of the sport’s bright orange ball.

Think of the game in motion. A lightning pace. A level of ceiling-threatening athleticism that elicits gasps from fans. Plus a weight of impact from every leap that can take its toll on the hardiest of players. The busy game of basketball is played on a relatively intimate battlefield. Direction is constantly in flow, and the game can turn on a dime. Player’s shoes need to be durable, with strong cushioning and, most often, a high-top to provide vital ankle support. Any professional high end shoe worth its logo needs all those qualities to survive the game and protect the player.

I Wish I was a Baller

Nike has gone one further. They’ve produced a self-lacing, adaptive basketball sneaker that adapts on the fly. An innovative shoe that molds around the player’s feet as the game progresses, using a tiny engine embedded within the fabric. Feet swell, contour and change shape over vigorous physical strain; this technology embraces those changes and actively works with them. That’s got to be worth a home-court advantage?

From stats to sensors to sneakers, basketball’s furious pace is matched only by the technology and science on (and off) the court.

Wondering how science and technology can help take your passion to the next level? Click here and an expert from The SolidExperts will be happy to help you.

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