What Is a Jumper In Basketball? [Secrets Revealed]

In basketball, a "jumper" refers to a player making a jump shot, not someone with a higher vertical jump. Jump shots are essential for scoring from a distance, conserving energy, and creating better shooting angles, but mastering them requires coordination, strength, and practice.

You may have heard the term jumper while watching a basketball match. Often commentators use this word when referring to players. Most of you might also be confused when players refer to each other as jump shooters.

Is the player who can jump really higher a jumper? No, you got it wrong.

Then what is a jumper in basketball? A jumper is a short-term used for a jump shot. A player who makes a shot while leaping high in the air is called a jumper. Generally, the term jumper is used when the player makes a low or a high jump while still airborne.

If you want to learn more about a jumper in basketball, this post is for you. Read it till the end and discover how to be a good jumper and more.

What Is a Jump Shot In a Game?

You might have heard commentators using the word jumper while referring to players. They use the term jumper to differentiate between jump shots and layups.

Generally, a jump shot is when a player springs off the floor with both feet, goes straight up, and shoots the ball before reaching the highest point of the jump. Mostly, it is one-handed but may use both hands.

In a jump shot, the player makes an arc to throw the ball in the basket. The player should have proper balance and form to make an accurate shot; otherwise, the effort will go waste.

The two common types of jump shot are;

Jump shot off the dribble: In this shot, the player jumps off one foot and repeatedly bounces the ball with one hand (dribbling).

Jump shot off the catch: A shooter only uses his momentum from running to jump and shoot the ball in a jump shot. It saves energy for other skills in the match.

What Is the Difference between a Set Shot and a Jump Shot?

Most of you might think that set shots and jump shots are the same. In fact, both are different. The player releases the ball with his feet on the ground in a set shot.

Contrarily, the player hits the ball while leaping in the air in the jump shot.

Generally, players use forward momentum from their dribble in a jump shot. If you are new, you might wonder what dribble is in basketball? The repetitive action of bouncing the ball continuously with one hand on the court is called dribbling in basketball.

Some players, such as Russell Westbrook and Ray Allen, avoid set shoots and prefer to shoot the ball with a jump shot.

A jump shot has two parts; the first is a jump, and the other is a shot. In contrast, set shots have a small hop.

In short, a shoot made without jumping is a set shot; the player stands still, holds the ball at shoulder level, and shoots the ball.

Importance of a Jump Shot

A jump shot is the basic and most important shooting technique in basketball. The action of throwing the ball from a straight vertical jump towards the basket is a jump shot.

It involves one hand while the other hand keeps the ball in place until throwing. Jump shots are hard to defend against.

Below are some advantages of a jump shot.

  • Allows score from a long distance: Jump shots are hard for opponents to block since the players throw the ball in a vertical position from a higher position over the head.
  • Saves player’s energy: When the player uses the momentum from running to elevate and shoot the ball, the jump shot becomes effortless and provides more power for throwing the ball.
  • Offer the best angle for shooting: A jump shot offers the best throwing angle to the shooter and causes less strain on the knees.
  • Shorter players have benefits: Jump shot allows shorter players to shoot over the taller opponents that may block them by standing next to them.

Besides all the benefits of a jump shot, you must remember that only advanced basketball players can make an accurate jump shot. A perfect jump shot demands high coordinative movement and a fast throwing motion.

How Can You Be a Good Jumper?

Before starting the training for a jump shot, you should master these basics to be a good jumper.

  • Good coordination of the jumping movement and throwing motion.
  • You should practice throwing and catching while standing and in motion.
  • You must have offensive strength and jumping power.
  • Practice throwing the ball at the highest point of the jump.

Steps To Take a Jump Shot

Basically, a jump shot involves three phases; Straight vertical jump, Actual throwing motion at the highest point, avoid shooting until the apex is reached.

Below are the steps to take a jump shot.

Prepare your body

  • Hold the ball loosely in front of your body in your throwing hand after catching it.
  • Make a T-shape with the left hand supporting the ball and the middle finger pointing forward. Maintain a shoulder-width leg distance, and the toes should point to the basket.
  • Keep the right foot slightly in front of the left foot, and bent the knees slightly while tilting the upper body forward.

Execute the jump shot

  • Move the ball up the head and keep the elbows in a natural position(not too close or far from the body).
  • Jump vertically by extending the arms and reaching the highest point.


  • Hold the ball with fingers, not palms, and throw the ball when the shoulder and elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Finally, land on both legs while bending the knees slightly to avoid falling.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you understand the term jumper in basketball? A jumper is a short-term used by commentators for a jump shot. It involves a vertical jump and throwing the ball when reaching the highest point using one or both hands.

You can be a good jumper by learning basic hand-ball coordination skills.

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