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Basketball Shooting - The Baby Hook

What is "the baby hook" in basketball shooting?

The baby hook in basketball shooting branches off from the evolution of the classical sky hook This basketball shooting form resembles the skyhook in that it still relies on your shoulders to separate the basketball from the defender.  It differs from the skyhook mainly because you are now using your wrist instead of your arm in terms of shooting the basketball towards the hoop.

What does it take to do a good baby hook in basketball shooting?

Clearly, this basketball shooting technique is for the players on the post, especially the low post.  In order to execute a good baby hook, You need long arms.  The longer your basketball shooting arm is, the harder it is to block your baby hook.  Well, the length of your arm cannot be changed unless you go get some crazy surgery.  Yet, you can definitely work on the power of your grip as well as the power of your wrist.  As you can see with your arm fully extended, your grip is the only thing you can rely on to maintain control of the basketball before release.  Intuitively, A powerful wrist allows you to better control your basketball shooting.  Broad, muscular shoulders are a must for baby hooks because your shoulder width and wingspan determines how far you can hold the ball away from your defender.  Furthermore, you will need a good body balance to use the baby-hook in game.  I can guarantee you that after you sink a few easy baby hooks, your opponent will give you a bump on your way up.

Duncan switching to a one-handed shot in the air

When do I use a baby hook

Whenever you have the height advantage or strength advantage or arm length advantage in the paint or close to the basketball hoop, it is a great idea to use your shoulder to prevent a block shot and go for the baby hook.

You should use the baby hook when you are posting up.  The only condition that you should bear in mind is that you are not double-teammed from the back.  Frankly, this is probably the most popular finishing move when posting up.  

In the event that when you are initiating a baby hook and you suddenly see that your defender has already lost his position or he can no longer jump to contest your hook shot, You can lean forward slightly with your shooting hand's shoulder.  By doing so, you turn your body towards the basketball hoop to switch from a baby hook to a one-handed jump shot, which is a less difficult shot. 

Pros-n-cons about doing a baby hook



  • hard to block because your shoulder is between the defender and the ball
  • Unblockable when shot by a person whose arm is above rim level because it results in goaltending
  • compete for space horizontally by turning your body sideways
  • A one-handed basketball shooting technique giving the basketball shooter extra vertical reach
  • Flexible in that you can switch to a one-handed jumper when situation allows
  • Limited range because of the lack of power
  • Easily blocked from behind
  • Sacrificed the court vision when attempting the baby hook
  • Almost impossible the get offensive rebound if you miss because baby hook is a very light shot that will only gives tiny rebounds
  • Body is not squared up with the hoop, a shot that is higher in difficulty

General step-by-step guide to doing a baby hook

The baby hook is widely used by massive, post-up players because they are using their imperturbable body balance in the air and broad shoulders to their advantage.  In 1on1 situations, it is almost unstoppable and it boils down to basically just the basketball shooting player versus the rim.  So, when a team is falling behind, use the big guy or the tall guy in the center.


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