The 10 Best Junior Basketballs

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This wiki has been updated 33 times since it was first published in February of 2016. There's no way around it: learning how to shoot hoops like a pro requires more than a little practice. While an official ball may be too large for an inexperienced kid, these junior basketballs come in smaller sizes to help young athletes develop their skills using gear that's appropriate for their age. Who knows? Your child might blossom into the next LeBron James or Diana Taurasi. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Baden Elite

2. Spalding Rookie Gear

3. Spalding Varsity

Editor's Notes

July 08, 2020:

We decided to pull a few items from the list, including the Baden SkilCoach and the Mikasa BX1008, both of which have serious problems holding air for an extended period of time. We retained the Mikasa NJB, pointing out that it is suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. We also came across reports that the color of the Franklin Sports Grip-Rite 1000 often fades away quickly, so we noted that in the listing.

Some junior basketballs are constructed with rubber, primarily for outdoor use. Some balls can be used on any type of court, while others are designed solely for playing on indoor surfaces. Of our newly added items, the Senston Luminous and Chance Premium are both of the indoor-outdoor variety. They’re also both available in vibrant, non-traditional colors, making them a good alternative for children who will enjoy something flashy and out of the ordinary.

Made with tough rubber, the Spalding NBA Mini is intended for outside play only. As it’s much smaller than a standard basketball, this is a good option for very young kids who have access to an outdoor hoop.

On the contrary, the Baden Elite is a high-end indoor option for experienced players willing to invest in high-quality practice equipment.

Special Honors

Homecourt: Stay in the Game An interactive mobile app available in the Apple App Store, Homecourt offers fun, engaging basketball training workouts and the ability to track your skill development progress. The introductory version is free, but access to advanced features (for individuals, families or coaches and their teams) requires a monthly or annual subscription.

MAC-T Sup-R-Safe These are a cost-effective way for a daycare or an elementary school P.E. department to load up on miniature foam basketballs. They can be inflated with a standard athletic air pump, and each set comes with six balls in multiple colors (yellow, red, orange, blue, green and purple).

4. BSN Hoop Teach

5. Spalding NBA Mini

6. Mikasa NJB

7. Franklin Sports Grip-Rite 1000

8. Chance Premium

9. Senston Luminous

10. SportimeMax Hands-On

Sam Kraft
Last updated by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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