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Basketball shooting - the bank shot

Duncan going for the bank, his signature

What is a bank shot in basketball shooting?

When someone calls "bank!" after he shoots the basketball, he is saying that he is aiming at the backboard right off the bat.  A bank shot in basketball shooting is a basketball shot using the backboard as a deflecting tool that directs the basketball into the basketball hoop.

What does it take to do a bank shot in basketball shooting

You do not need much for a bank shot because it can be done in a set shot or a jump shot manner.  The only thing that is important to a bank shot is a soft touch in your basketball shooting and a good control of the wrist power.  A soft touch enables the basketball to bounce into the hoop instead of bouncing off the glass hard and back into the basketball court. 

Most importantly, when you are doing a bank shot, it is also important adjust the strength with which you shoot the basketball so that the basketball makes contact with the backboard on its way down.  The basketball will bounce off the glass with a much better angle.  This can be ignored if you are right underneath the basketball hoop.  "Gently kiss it off the glass" is the golden rule to shooting a basketball bank shot.

When do I use a bank shot

Ever had a bad shooting day when you cannot seem to find the rim?  That is when you should use the bank shot because as long as you don't bounce the ball off the backboard too hard, it can usually get in.  Another requirement of using the bank shot when shooting a basketball is that you should be in the bank-shot zone

Also, when you are right under the basketball hoop, it is a good idea to use the bank shot because it opens up a way bigger angle for shooting the basketball.

Pros-n-cons about doing a bank shot



  • Easy to execute in that you just throw it at the board
  • Less aiming time is required
  • Not such a high arc is required and it increases accuracy
  • Opens up a wider range of shooting angle when you are under the hoop
  • If missed, the rebound usually be a far rebound and therefore hard to grab
  • The extra bounces makes it hard to guess where the ball bounces to
  • Limited by the angle that allows for a bank shot
  • Some balls do not bounce off backboards well.

General step-by-step guide to doing a bank shot

Some players refrain from using the bank shot because people has categorized this basketball shooting move as an ugly shot or a lucky shot.  These are just excuses that defenders who just got their beaten to a pulp to make themselves feel better.  I don't know if they make them feel better but they sure make those defenders look uglier.


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