Can I Start Playing Basketball At 20?

Can I Start Playing Basketball At 20?

Key Takeaway: Starting to play basketball at 20 is feasible, but to reach professional levels, starting at a younger age is advantageous. Many NBA players, such as Steve Francis and Amar'e Stoudemire, began late but achieved success through perseverance and hard work.

The game is so popular that it became universal, and like the Catholic Church, basketball has only one rulebook. But after so many years passed, some people created new basketball rules. Some people considered the changes to be difficult, and some think it is good that the game is evolving.

Basketball is indeed a grinding sport, especially if you are playing on double rims, or just starting. However, if you are persistent and motivated, nothing is hard for you, and no one will stop you. 

Some people said that a basketball player that aspires to play in the big league, must start while they are young. But because we can’t control other people’s decisions, some start playing in their 20s. The question many people ask if they can start playing at their 20? Is it better to start playing at 20, or is it too late?

Can I start playing basketball at 20? Yes! You can still start playing basketball at 20, and learn basketball at 20. But if you want to play on professional basketball leagues and you are just starting out learning at 20, then it would be hard. It will be hard but still possible.

However, there are still lots of things you need to know about this certain topic! We are going to answer the questions people tend to ask in Reddit and Quora. Let’s go!

Is It True That You Can Only Start Playing Basketball At A Young Age?

The quick answer to this question is yes and no, like 50/50. It really depends on the goal of the person. Let me explain to you what I mean.

I said yes because I relatively believe that aspiring players must start at a young age, but where in the range of age is called young? I am sad to say that people in their 30s to 40s have a low chance to become a professional basketball player because players often retire between the given age range. However, players between the 30s and 40s still have the guts to play basketball but not in major leagues. A young person’s age ranges from 12-20 years old. Players looking to play in the big basketball leagues should start playing and practicing between those ages. 

What do I mean by no? If the goal of a 30 years old man is to learn the fundamentals of basketball and play only on weekends, then it is not true that a person needs to start at a young age to play basketball. But if a 30 years old guy wants to start to learn to play basketball with a goal of playing in the big leagues, it’s almost impossible.

What Age Is Too Late To Start Basketball?

Basketball can be played by young or adults, and everyone can start from any age. But if you are looking to play basketball in a big league, then probably you have to start while you are young. 

Frankly, players in the age between 30s and 40s have little chance of getting into major basketball leagues. However, people from the 30s and 40s that wanted to learn the fundamentals of basketball still have the opportunity to do so. 

Can I Start Playing Basketball At 20?

I know this is your favorite part! Let’s unveil the answer to this question! The quick answer to this question is yes! You can start to play and learn the fundamentals of basketball in your 20s, and you have a high chance to get into the big basketball leagues. You have to be consistent in your training, be persistent, and always make sure to keep on track of your performance. 

Some remarkable NBA players have started playing basketball at a very late age. These players didn’t let other people’s negative voices enter their heads as they started. They just continue to grind and practice. If these players nailed it, then you can also do it. 

8 NBA Players Who Started Playing Basketball Very Late

1. Steve Francis

Steve Francis was an NBA player that was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies as their second pick in the 1999 NBA draft. Francis was drafted in the NBA at the age of 22, which others considered late. However, Steve Francis managed to win the NBA Rookie of the year.

Steve Francis wasn’t able to play organized basketball until the age of 16. He later learned the fundamentals of basketball. Aside from winning the NBA Rookie of the year, Francis was a three-time All-Star. Some critics say that if Francis learned the fundamentals of basketball earlier than 16, he would probably have dominated the league. 

2. Amar’e Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire was drafted by the Phoenix Suns as their ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft. Stoudemire won the NBA Rookie of the year and made six appearances in the NBA All-Star game. He was also named to the All-NBA team five times. 

Stoudemire lived his whole life without any parents guiding him because his father died, his stepmom was in and out in jail, and his real mom left them. He started playing at the age of 14 while having a tough youth in the streets. 

Stoudemire was a great player, especially during his rookie season. However, his injuries became a hindrance to his career. 

3. Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace was drafted in the NBA while he was 22 years old. Wallace was drafted by Washington Bullets (known as Wizards today) in the 1996 NBA draft. 

During Wallace’s rookie season, he was not dominant as you think. He had many bad games before he became one of the most dominant defenders in the NBA. Wallace was the one who helped the Pistons to win a chip. His career is an inspiration for young players who think that they are not good enough to play the game. 

Wallace won 4 Defensive Player of the year and tied Mutombo. He also won a championship with the Detroit Pistons. 

4. Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo was known for his defensive mechanism. Mutombo started playing professionally at the age of 25. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets as their fourth overall pick in the 1991 NBA draft. 

Mutombo helps the Nuggets to win games through his defensive skills. His defensive skills were later known across the league and in the whole world. Mutombo helped many teams in defense as he played in many franchises in his career.

Mutombo finishes his career with many achievements. He was a four-time Defensive Player of the year awardee, Laureus World sports award, and he was voted three times for NBA All-Defensive Team. Mutombo had two chances to grab a championship ring. However, he didn’t manage to win at least one single ring. 

5. Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman made it to the NBA at the age of 25. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons as their second-round pick in the 1986 NBA draft. During his teenage years, Rodman’s height was not for a basketball player. Then suddenly, he experienced a sudden growth spurt. From 5’11 to 6’7, and after that growth spurt he decided to play basketball again. 

Dennis Rodman retired last 2020 and managed to win five championship rings. He also won two Defensive Player of the year awards and was All-Defensive first team seven times.

6. Dirk Nowitzki

Many people said that Dirk Nowitzki had no chance to outplay other NBA players because he was unathletic, slow, and didn’t have the hops. But Dirk proved them wrong.

Dirk Nowitzki started playing basketball at the age of 13. He was drafted in the NBA by Milwaukee Bucks and was traded to the Dallas Maverick. Nowitzki became the deadliest big man shooter in NBA history. Throughout his career, Nowitzki only played for Dallas. He earned one MVP award, one Finals MVP award, and he won one championship ring.

Dirk Nowitzki changed the game of basketball for the big man players. He was known for his one-legged fadeaway jump shot. 

7. Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon is the most talented big man the NBA had. He started playing basketball when he was 16 years old. Olajuwon was drafted by the Houston Rockets, and he won Rookie of the year. 

Hakeem had a very good career, and he led the rockets for back to back titles. He won one MVP award, two finals MVP, two Defensive Player of the year, and he was selected nine times in All-Defensive teams.

8. Tim Duncan

Before Duncan made it to the NBA, he was a professional swimmer before. Duncan was selected by the San Antonio Spurs as their first draft pick and won Rookie of the year. He became very dominant in the league and had an astounding career.

Tim Duncan won two MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, and had a total of five championship rings. Duncan played for the Spurs throughout his career.

7 Tips For Starting In Basketball

Before we end this article, I would like to give you five tips that will help people who are starting in basketball. 

1. Practice Your Shooting Form First

Shooting is the most important aspect of basketball that you must learn because this is where you will get your points and points to decide who wins the ball game. This is my mistake when I am starting. I always practiced my dribbling until I neglected my shooting form, which turned out negative for me. 

There are many sources on the internet today that will help you to improve your shooting form. 

2. Get In Shape

Basketball is full of running and people who are not in good shape may have a hard time running court-to-court. The better shape you are in, the greater your stamina, and the quicker you will be. Having a good shape will also help you to avoid knee injuries and other injuries. 

3. Dribble With Your Fingers

Most beginner’s mistake is they dribble with their palm and not with their fingers. As an experienced guy here, I tell all beginners reading my article that never dribble with your palm. Dribble with your fingers so that you can handle the ball with ease. Check the other article I wrote about how to dribble a basketball.

4. Study And Be Smart

Basketball isn’t just a physical game but it’s also a mental game. Study different types of plays so that you can understand what your coaches wanted to say. Make sure to also to study various moves that you want to learn, so that you will know where you will use it. 

5. Warm-Up

Before playing, you need to warm up first. Warming up is like warming up a car before opening the aircon. Without proper warm-up and stretching can lead to some mild and serious injuries. So always make sure to stretch and have a warm-up before playing. 

6. Be Consistent

Most amateur players stop practicing if they don’t see any results, which can lead to stopping from playing basketball. Every beginning is hard, and if you give up at your beginning stage then you don’t deserve greatness. Remember to be consistent in your training, and make a consistent schedule for your practice.

7. Put Some Time On Your Vertical Jump

Jumping is an essential action in basketball that is ignored by most players. The ability to jump high is vital for collecting rebounds, blocking the opponent’s shot, intercept a high arc pass, and shooting. Your vertical jump can be developed through vertical jump training. Check my vertical jump training. It will help you to jump higher, and if you want to measure your vertical jump, just go through this link

Final Verdict

There is no such thing as an age limit for starting out playing basketball. However, there are some circumstances in which your age may give you limited opportunities, such as playing in the big leagues. 

People who thought that 20 is an old age to start playing must cut out this myth. For players who are in their 20s that aspire to play in a professional basketball league, I advise you to keep going, practice hard, and be consistent.

Do you think age 20 is too old to start playing basketball? Let’s know your opinion in the comments section below!

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