Basketball is quite popular among young people in university. At UM, there are so many basketball courts. Therefore, they call UM as the NBA University.

Today let’s study some useful terminologies about basketball.


Dribbling – Bouncing the ball up and down.

Double dribble – When you dribble the ball.  Stop dribbling, and then start dribbling again.  This is illegal.

Traveling – Walking without dribbling the basketball.  This is also illegal.

Foul (shooting) – A person hitting the body or the arm of the shooter while that person is shooting.

Free throw – Taking a free throw shot for 1 point at the line.

Technical foul – A bad foul such as arguing with the referee or hitting someone in a bad way.  Results in two free throws and regaining possession.

Possession – The team with the ball has possession.

Slam dunk – Putting the basketball in the hoop without shooting.

Lay up – Shooting the basketball right below the hoop

3 pointer – Shooting outside the far line around the basketball court that counts as 3 points instead of 2.

Shot clock violation – Failing to hit the rim before the 24 second counter expires.

3 in the key – When an offensive player stands in the area below the basket for more than 3 seconds.  This is a foul.

Screen – Using a body to block another player

Vertical – The height a person can jump in inches.

Air ball – Shooting the basketball and missing the backboard and the rim completely.

In basketball, the judges are called referees.


Talk with your language partners about the topic of basketball on the language table!

Wish you all good luck in your final exams.