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10 Terminologies in Basketball-Coaches and Players Must Know


If someone searches for basketball terms, it signifies a desire to understand the common terminologies and learn about the game as a diehard hoophead. So, there is a tapestry of terms that weaves the sport’s discourse. Every basketball player must understand the unique lexicon of basketball to engage in meaningful conversations related to the sport.

In this article, we have curated a glossary of 10  terminologies used in basketball. We have shed light on basketball words explaining their meaning, origin, and contribution to the game.

What is Basketball?

This is the indoor game played by two teams having 5 players each unfolding on a rectangular court. In the game, both teams defender and offender try to toss the ball through the goal of the opponent team in relentless pursuit. The elevated net used in the game is called a basket.  Roundball is a nickname used for basketball which is also called b-ball. It is the primary objective of the sport To Score by putting the ball into the net aka the basket and restricting the opponent from doing so. It is a fantastic exercise that assists to strengthen immunity and muscular power and coordination among teammates.

10 Terminologies in Basketball

10 Terms used in Basketball

If you are curious and want to know about the vocabulary of basketball terms, there are the 10 top of the key or most popular basketball terminologies listed below.

Buzzer Beater

It is the shot made before the final buzz when the ball is still in the air zooming towards the rim, to signal the end of the period. It is the last shot for winning the game and emerged gradually in basketball.

Dropping Dimes 

It is a slang term referring to an outstanding, creative, hardworking, and precise assist in the basketball court  to gain an easy scoring opportunity against an opposing team. It emerged after the 1950s and came from the days of payphone calls.

The Fade Away or Fall-away

It is a normal shot that occurs when a player jumps  backward in the air away from the net or basket. The perfect example of this act is set by Michael Jordan in his iconic playoff under pressure in 1989.

Garbage Time

It refers to the last minutes of the game indicating a clear victory and insurmountable lead of one team due to the poor defensive play of the defender team. It was not introduced at a specific time; rather This term was popularized by the legendary NBA broadcaster Chick Hearn during his calls.


When the opposite team touches the ball after its apex is called Goaltending which is an illegal act in the game of basketball , this is practiced by many players, a recent example is LeBron James in his 2021 playoff game because his hand was above the rim.

Granny Shot

It is a slang term used in basketball in which a player holds the ball in two hands while bending forward and shoots upward from between both his legs. It is a legal and natural technique used by Wilt Chamberlain in the 1960s.


This basketball terminology usually refers to a player physically tall who encounters another player physically short, meaning an apparent size difference between two opposing players. It does not indicate any discrimination and has different types like skill, size, or capability variations.

Nothing but Net

It describes the situation when the ball flies straight into the basket without touching either the rim or the backboard. It was not introduced by any single player and emphasized the ball in a clean way without bounce toward the basket or hoop.

 Shot Clock

It refers to a countdown device displaying countdown time or remaining seconds for the possessing team to attempt a field goal  before the play is dead. It was invented in 1954 and had a great impact on game speed and also on points which in turn assists in levelling up the excitement of the player on the court facing the basket.


This basketball terminology is credited to an opposing  player from the other team when he forces a turnover and steals the ball legally. It emerged organically as a way of describing this specific action in the game and was used by Hakeem Olajuwon, a legendary centre to lead his team on the court.

Which Basketball Terminology is the Best of All?

There is no specific term to be considered as best from all other terms of basketball. If you want to determine, then it all depends on you as a basketball player because the decision is subjective. It depends upon the person’s criteria to prioritize any term. Some terms are catchy, some have strategic importance and some have universal understanding.


What is a basket called in basketball?

The basket is called ‘’hoop’’ in a basketball game.

 What is a goal called in basketball?

The old coaches called’’ score’’ a goal in every basketball game.

 What is the terminology of basketball?

The terminologies are the basic vocabulary words of a basketball game.

What is a dead ball in international basketball?

The ball is dead when neither team controls the ball or scores a goal towards the basket.

Why is it called basketball?

Dr. Naismith named it as he says that it has a ball and basket so it should be named as basketball.

What type of word is basketball?

It is a common noun but when it is associated with the national basketball association or professional basketball league, it becomes a proper noun.

Is basketball known as a sport?

Basketball is the most popular sport in the world.


We have listed the terms of basketball  with their meaning and significance. By acknowledging your mind regarding these particulars, you will be able to understand the core idea of professional basketball sport, its complexity and allure. This game has a rich vocabulary that describes its actions and strategies to avoid making foul. We explored various aspects of basketball rules words including basketball slang, official and historical making this piece of information productive.

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