It is a good guess that the last subject on anyone's mind when it comes to basketball is mathematics.  If anything, there are quite a few individuals that choose to decompress from a rigorous math class by playing pickup games in drippy basketball shorts.   

However, mathematics does play a role in the game of basketball.   The biggest example of mathematics in basketball can be seen on the basketball court.   One can certainly find examples of math in the various characteristics and measurements that can be seen in the layout of basketball court.  We will go over them in this piece.

It is very easy to predict the area of math that will be the most prevalent when it comes to analyzing the basketball court.   That area of math is geometry.  Geometry deals with shapes and their properties.

When one takes a look at the basketball court, one can see that is rectangular.  With the understanding that dimensions of the basketball court will differ based on the skill level, let's use the NBA basketball court as an example. The overall dimensions of a basketball court in the NBA is 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. 

A basketball court has a big black line that divides one half of the court from the other.   Thus, this means that both halves of the court are 47 feet long and 50 feet wide.   Visually, the line in the middle of the court turns both halves of the court into squares.   

The middle of a basketball court contains a circle in the center.   If one were to measure from the dividing line to the edge of the center circle, they would find that it's a 6 foot outside radius.  As a result, the center circle is 12 feet in diameter. 

Throughout the history of the Slam Dunk contest, we have seen contestants such as Michael Jordan and Zach Lavine jump from the free throw line for a dunk. 

Based on standard measurement from the free throw line to the rim, this means that they jumped 15 feet. We can even measure the width of the key or ,"paint area".  It is 16 feet in width.   

There is no question that we live in a time in which the three point shot has become more and more of a focal point in basketball..   There are two different measurements we must use for measuring the three point shot.  

In most cases, the three point shot is 23.75 feet away from the rim.  However, shooters who attempt threes from the corners are shooting from a distance of 22 feet. 

The basketball court may be one of the greatest examples of math there is thanks to the countless examples of geometry on display.  In addition to recognizing shapes such as circles, squares and rectangles, we measured distance, radius, diameter, length and width. 

Visit our drippy basketball shorts collections at

May 16, 2023 — Jeremiah Oglesby