All-Star Practice Plans

At the All-Star Level, players will begin to gain strength, quickness and the ability to better react to game situations. Practices will shift towards team concepts and competition, while still heavily emphasizing skill development.

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All-Star Practice Plan 4

Cultivating Values & Developing Wellness


History of the Game

  • Spend some time sharing or quizzing the players about the
    history of the game. Here are a few samples but feel free to use your own.
  • Who was the first Chinese born player to play basketball in the NBA? (Wang Zhi Zhi).
  • Who invented the game of basketball? (Dr. James Naismith).
  • Where was he from? (Canada; settled in Springfield, Mass).
  • Dr. Naismith was a P.E. teacher who was instructed by his principal he had 14 days to create a game that would keep the schools track & football players from misbehaving & keep them in shape for their upcoming season. So he invented the game of basketball.
  • What were the first basket make of? (Wooden peach baskets).
  • What was the first ball that basketball was played with? (Soccer ball).
  • How many players were originally on the court for each team
    when the game first started being played? (9 players).


  • Spend some time explaining some of the more complex rules. Here are a few samples but feel free to use your own.
  • If a player gets injured is he allowed to re-enter the game? (Yes).
  • How many steps is a player allowed to take when he is attempting a lay-up? (2 steps).
  • How many times can a coach substitute a player in & out of a game? (Unlimited).
  • Can you change your pivot foot? (No…explain why).
  • If a player on the blue team passes the ball and it hits the referee and goes out of bounds, what team does the ball belong to, blue team or white team? (white team).

Warm Up


Dynamic Warm-Up Part 7

  • Stand to Athletic Position
  • Vertical Jump to Stick
  • Angle Balance
  • Lateral Chop
  • Over the Hurdle Forward
  • Over the Hurdle Backwards
  • Lateral Squat Hold
  • Jog to Sprint

Building Skills


Footwork and Conditioning

V–Cut to Footwork

(1 x 2 minutes each way)
  • Depending on the number of players, have them line up in a line on each wing, or 2 lines each wing if needed.
  • The first player in each line will start by making a V-Cut.
  • Once the player is back to the wing they will jump stop and land on two feet facing the basket.
  • The player will then take tiny multiple quick steps on or just outside the 3-point line.
  • After around 3 seconds of quick feet, the coach will say “Go!” and the players will bound on two feet to the baseline.
  • The player will go to the back of the line.
  • As the player in front of them begins their bounds, the next player in line will begin the same process starting with the V-Cut.

Ball Handling

Ball Fakes

(3 x Down & Back)
  • Have the players start on the baseline with a ball.
  • On the coach’s whistle/command, the players will take 2-3 dribbles forward and jump stop.
  • After the jump stop, the players will work on a pass fake or a shot fake.
  • After the fake, the players will continue by dribbling 2-3 times again and coming to a jump stop and making a pass fake or a shot fake.
  • This process will continue all the way down the court and back.
  • If you have more players and need more than one group, please do so.
  • Make sure the players go at game speed and allow them to work on the fake of their choice.

Pull Back Dribble Fundamental Skill

  • The pull back dribble is a great way for an offensive player to create space. The pull back dribble requires the player with the ball to move fast in one direction and then stopping by planting the foot that is running out in front of them on the same side as the ball and transferring their weight backwards and pulling the ball backwards towards their back foot and hand. By moving fast, stopping quickly, and pulling back, the offensive player should create space between them and the defender.

Pull Back Dribble Breakdown Drill

(2 x 30 seconds each way)
  • All players need a basketball (or share) and should stand on the sideline.
  • Place a cone out in front of each player that is a good long stride away from them.
  • Have the players push forward off their left foot and put their right foot out in front in a long stride.
  • As their right foot hits the floor out in front, the ball will also be out in front in two hands near their right foot.
  • Have the players push back off their right foot their left foot and pull the ball back with one bounce as they move.
  • Their left foot shoot be their pivot foot as the come back to balance and hold the ball.
  • Players should continually repeat this action and also switch to the other side.
  •  Work on making a good strong move and pulling back quickly.


1-Step Form Drill

(1 x 2 minutes)
  • The players will line up in 2 lines, one on each side of the lane with both lines facing each other.
  • The first player in line will alternate pushing off the foot closest to half court trying to move as far across the lane as possible.
  • The players will land on the leg closest to the basket and quickly swing their outside leg around to put them in a nice shooting stance with there arms simulating holding a ball.
  • The player will then go to the opposite line and the player from the opposite line will do the same.
  • This process will continually repeat for a minute.
  • After a minute, the players will do the same push and square up but will now finish by jumping to simulate taking a shot and land the same spot they jumped from with their follow through up.
  • Add a ball tossed from 1 line to the line pushing across the lane to make it more realistic and add the shot if appropriate.

Key Points

Players should cover a lot of ground on the push out and work on landing on the inside foot and turning to square up and on balance.

Fundamentals of the V-Cut

  • The v-Cut is a cut that offensive players use to get open for the ball. The v-cut typically happens on the wing when the offensive player is closely guarded. To make a good v-cut, the offensive player will walk or jog towards the basket, then plant their bottom foot to explode back out to the perimeter for the ball. As the player comes out for the ball, they usually move in a straight line closer to the passer so that their entire cut looks like the letter “v.”

V-Cut Breakdown Drill

(1 x 2 minutes)
  • Have the players line up on the wing with coach at the top of the key with a ball.
  • The first player in line will make a v-cut and catch a pass from coach on the wing and square up in a triple threat stance.
  • The player will then pass the ball back to coach and the next player will begin the same process.
  • Continue this process for the allotted amount of time.

V-Cut Layup Drill

(1 x 3 minutes)
  • Have the players line up in 2 lines, 1 on each wing.
  • The first player in each line will start by making a V-Cut.
  • Once the player is back to the wing they will jump stop and land on two feet facing the basket while catching the ball.
  • The player will then make the commanded dribble move into their shot.
  • As a team make as many shots as possible in the allotted time.
  • Be sure to change sides and try to beat the previous score.

Pass & Up & Under Drill

(1 x 3 reps each way)
  • One player will start on each block and there will a line on the wing in front of each of them.
  • The first few players in each line will have a ball.
  • The first player with the ball will make a good post entry pass to the player making a good post up on the block.
  • The player will catch the ball and execute an up and under, get their rebound and go to the back of the line.
  •  The player who made the pass will then run to the block and post up and prepare to receive the pass from the next person in line.
  • This process will continue for the allotted amount of time and then the players will switch sides.

Key Points

Make sure the players are executing good post entry passes, the players are posting up and making good up and under moves.


Fundamentals of Tag & Pursue

  • When a defensive player is on the perimeter, and a shot goes up, there is a lot of space between them and the rebound. Boxing out would take too much time and leave the player too far from the rebound, so the players should tag and pursue. The tag and pursue means to step towards the offensive player, tag them by putting their forearm to their chest and then turning to pursue the ball. So the process is to recognize a shot, locate the player, step towards the player, make contact with a tag, and turn and pursue the ball.

Tag & Pursue Breakdown Drill

(1 minute)
  • Have the players get into multiple lines on the perimeter.
  • Have the first player in each line step out on defense.
  • When the coach says “shot” the defensive players will step to the next player in line, tag them, and then turn back towards the basket and run to the paint.
  • After that, the player will go to the back of the line and the offensive player will change to defense and a new player will still in as offense.
  • Repeat this process and emphasize all the key teaching points.

Tag & Pursue Drill

(1 x 3 minutes)
  • Have the players get in groups of three and find space at a basket.
  • Utilize as many baskets as possible and have at least 2 groups per basket.
  • 1 player will be a defensive player.
  • The other 2 players will be on offense not too far from each other with one ball.
  • The defensive player will guard the player without the ball and start by being in “help” defense and saying “help, help, help”.
  • The offensive player will pass the ball to their partner.
  • The defensive player will now close out and say “ball, ball ball.”
  • The offensive player will then pass the ball back to the other offensive player.
  • The defensive player will jump into the help position and say “help, help, help”.
  • The offensive player will then shoot.
  • The defensive player will locate their offensive player, tag and pursue the ball.

jrnba_allstar_pp4_tagandpursuedrill_diagram1of4 jrnba_allstar_pp4_tagandpursuedrill_diagram2of4 jrnba_allstar_pp4_tagandpursuedrill_diagram3of4 jrnba_allstar_pp4_tagandpursuedrill_diagram4of4


Team Concepts


Fundamentals of the Drive & Kick

  • Drive and kick is when a player dribbles the ball toward the basket and the defense reacts to the drive by helping their teammate. As the defense helps, the offensive player will kick or kick out (pass) the ball to their teammate.

L-Cut to Drive & Kick

(1 x 10 makes each side)
  • Have two lines on the baseline, 1 at each lane line and 1 ball per group.
  • The player with the ball will pass it to coach at the top of the key and the first player in both lines will make an L-cut looking to catch the ball on the wing.
  • Coach will pass the ball to one player or the other.
  • The player with the ball will drive either to the middle or to the baseline all the way to the paint.
  • As the player attacks the basket, the other player will space to an open spot and prepare to catch and shoot.
  • The player with the ball will make a pass to their teammate who will catch and shoot.
  • The players will get the rebound and switch lines.
  • There will be another group doing the same action immediately after.
  • Each partner pair will work together to try to make the allotted number of shots first.

jrnba_allstar_pp4_lcutt-driveandkick_diagram1of3 jrnba_allstar_pp4_lcutt-driveandkick_diagram2of3 jrnba_allstar_pp4_lcutt-driveandkick_diagram3of3

Key Points

Make sure the players dribbling into paint with the thought of scoring. Players should make a good kick pass to the player who is ready to catch the pass with their hands up and knees bent ready to shoot.

Fundamentals of The Backdoor Pass

  • The backdoor pass is a pass that happens when the player that is trying to receive the ball is being defended really hard and the passer cannot make an easy pass to them. The player that is being denied or overplayed will then cut backdoor towards the basket to get open. The backdoor pass is typically a bounce pass that requires timing between two teammates. Often the backdoor pass occurs on the move with 1-hand.

Backdoor Pass Breakdown

(1 x 1 minute)
  • Have players partner up with one ball and stand apart from each other.
  • The player with the ball will take 1 dribble and then snap a 1 handed bounce pass to their partner.
  • The partner will catch the ball and then do the same back.
  • The players will repeat this action until switching hands and continuing.

Backdoor Pass Lay-Up Drill

(1 x 15 makes each side)
  • Have the players get into 2 lines, 1 at the top and one on the wing or corner.
  • Have the balls start in the line at the top and have the player with the ball dribble towards the wing.
  • The player on the wing must time the cut and step up and then back cut.
  • The player with the ball will snap a bounce pass to the cutting player who will take a lay-up.
  • After the pass and the lay-up, the players will get the rebound and switch lines and continue.
  • Based on numbers, you can utilize 2 groups or 4 lines at each basket.

Post Pass & Screen Drill

(1 x 10 makes)
  • Start with a line of players near the top of the key with a ball.
  • Put another player on the wing and another player on the block.
  • The first player in line will pass the ball to the wing, the wing will then make a post entry pass.
  • After the post entry pass, the wing player will screen for the player at the top of the key who will come off towards the wing.
  • After a quick screen, the player setting the screen will slip to the basket.
  • The post player will pass to the player coming off the screen who will catch and shoot.
  • The post player will get the rebound and move to the back of the line, the player who set the screen will become the post player, and the player who shot the ball will become the wing player.
  • The next player in line will pass the ball to the wing and the sequence will repeat until the allotted number of shots have been made.
  • If you have enough players, do the same thing on the other side of the basket and have the teams compete.
  • Also if preferred, have the post player make the pass to the screener cutting to the basket.

jrnba_starter_pp8_postpassandscreendrill_diagram1of4 jrnba_starter_pp8_postpassandscreendrill_diagram2of4 jrnba_starter_pp8_postpassandscreendrill_diagram3of4 jrnba_starter_pp8_postpassandscreendrill_diagram4of4


Post Pass & Relocate

(1 x 10 makes)
  • Have the players get a ball and line up on the wing, if you have more players use the other wing and other baskets.
  • The coach will start on the block.
  • The first player in line will pass the ball to the coach on the block.
  • After the pass, the player will relocate by moving to open space on that side of the court.
  • The coach will pass the ball back out to the player who will catch and shoot the shot designated by coach before the drill starts.
  • After shooting, the player will get their own rebound and go to the back of the line.
  • The next player will do the same and the process will continue until the allotted number of shots have been made.

jrnba_allstar_pp4_postpassandrelocate_diagram1of4 jrnba_allstar_pp4_postpassandrelocate_diagram2of4 jrnba_allstar_pp4_postpassandrelocate_diagram3of4 jrnba_allstar_pp4_postpassandrelocate_diagram4of4




1 on 1 Dictated – Down Screen

(games to 3)
  • Have the players partner up based on ability and get 1 ball.
  • The players will start off the court on the baseline and 2 groups will start at the top of the key.
  • The first group on the baseline will throw their ball up to the group at the top of the key.
  • One player at the top will dribble the ball while the other one players about 70% defense.
  • The 2 players on the baseline will step on the court to where the coach dictates.
  • The coach will come and set a screen for the offensive player.
  • The player at the top will make a pass to the offensive player who will try to score in a one on one setting only staying on 1 side of the court.
  • After the possession, the pair at the top of the key will go down to the baseline line.
  • The players who played offense and defense will go to the line at the top.
  • And the next group will continue the same process.
  • Play 1 on 1 from this set until someone wins.

Key Points

Encourage the players to read the defender and score off the screen rather than catching and then playing one on one. Also, make sure the passer is working on reading the defender and the cut the offensive player makes in order to make a good pass.

3 on 3 – Defense Wins

(games to 4)
  • Divide the players into teams of 3.
  • Utilize both baskets if there are four or more teams.
  • The offensive team will begin play and the ball is live and the players can move and play as they choose.
  • Every change of possession, the ball must get back to the top of the key in order to start the next possession.
  • If the offense scores, they get to go on defense and a new offensive team comes on.
  • If the defense gets a stop, they get a point and stay on defense and a new offensive team comes on.
  • Play to the allotted number of points.
  • Keep the game moving quickly but not requiring a “check,” and allowing players to get to the top of the key and start their possession.

5 on 5

(games to 5)
  • Divide the players into teams (have substitutes if needed).
  • Play 5 on 5 until a team makes 3 shots.
  • Encourage the players to cut, move the ball and work on all the basketball concepts they have learned.

Compliment Session


Gather the players together. Players group with 1-2 players next to them and share answers to the prompted questions.

  • Ask players to share something they did well, what enjoyed about today’s practice or something positive about another player’s actions.
  • Have players switch groups and ask some players to share their groups answers. Coach can build onto the player responses.

Key Points

All compliments should be natural. Not every player has to give or receive a compliment.

Skills Checklist

At the conclusion of the All-Star Level, Jr. NBA players should be proficient at each of the following skills. Judging proficiency at this level is the responsibility of the coach.

Ball Handling



        Footwork & Conditioning