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Protecting Your Players

Protecting Your Players - The Real AAU Basketball, Spring 2009

From head to toe, players have many options when it comes to personal protective equipment

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Stopping and cutting on a dime. Taking a hard charge. Battling for a rebound. Fighting for position on the block. Diving for a loose ball. Yes, basket- ball is a contact sport.

Now, unlike previous genera- tions, today’s players have many op- tions to keep them protected from head to toe. A couple of decades ago, there weren’t a lot of play- ers sporting ankle or knee braces, and they certainly didn’t wear pad- ded, compression shorts, shooting sleeves or any other number of new innovations in equipment.

“I’m seeing about 50 percent of the athletes here wearing some- thing whether it’s a brace or some- thing like tape, a lot of players are making the choice to wear protec- tion,” says Sam Johnson, the ath- letic trainer for the University of Portland (Ore.) mens basketball team. “Tape probably isn’t an op- tion at the AAU level because most teams don’t have trainers. And, taping is a hard skill to learn. So, you’re looking at using braces to protect players.” However, there still are many coaches who are unsure of what is available to them, which is a detriment to the potential safety of their players. “Not enough players are wearing protection for the sheer fact that they don’t know about these products, and most of the time neither do their coaches,” says Rey Corpuz of McDavid, Inc.

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