Picking the right uniforms for your basketball team or club is important. You want your players to look good and feel good when they’re out on the court. And what basketball uniforms you wear says a lot about your team.
So how can you choose the best basketball uniforms?
There are a few things to consider, such as brand, price, custom or stock, print and uniform regulations.
Under Armour, Russell, Adidas and Nike have built a name for themselves in collegiate and professional basketball. Understandably, that means high school basketball players and club basketball players want to wear the brands they see on TV.
But does brand really matter?
The top brands like Under Armour and Russell have spent years researching fabric and how small changes yield big boosts in performace and durability. When you choose a basketball uniform from a trusted brand like that you get a uniform that comes with commitment. If something goes wrong down the road, these guys have your back because they stand behind their product.
And with a name brand uniform your team also gets instant recognition on the court – from the opposing team, the fans and the players themselves.
Of course life, isn’t always that simple. A trusted brand doesn’t mean it has to be a “name brand”. Companies like Alleson and Augusta Sportswear offer solid and reliable uniforms that can serve your team well. These companies also put time and money into research and design – they just don’t market as hard as the big guys to create the buzz.
If you’ve been coaching for awhile you’ll get feedback from your players and other coaches about what they like and what works best. Parents will tell you what brands seem to clean the easiest. Coaches will tell you which ones look the best. And players will always let you know which are the “coolest”.
Be sure to speak with your rep and let them know what brands you like (or don’t like) and ask for suggestions.
It’s important to know what you can realistically afford before you start looking for basketball uniforms. High school basketball coaches should speak with their athletic director or your booster club president and decide what your program can afford. Basketball clubs should meet with their board or parents and decide on a budget. Once you set a budget, you need to figure out the best way to spend it. Depending on the durability of your current uniforms, you may choose to get a separate home jersey and an away jersey instead of a reversible jersey. Or maybe it’s important to you to have a nice warm up set when traveling.
If your program doesn’t have the budget you were hoping for, it’s never too early to start fundraising. There are tried and true fundraising methods like car washes and walk-a-thons. Or think outside the box and brainstorm. Ask the players for ideas and have them get involved – it’s their team and uniforms. Custom t-shirts with a great “school spirit” design can be a great fundraiser. Or basketball cinch bags to get the student body pumped up for the season.
No matter how high or low your budget is this year, you never want to turn down an extra way to save.
Order your uniforms early to save the most money.
Basketball teams that order a few months before their opening game can usually save 40% off their uniform package. Plus, you usually get bonuses on top of that, like free coaches gear or maybe a practice shirt for the players.
Best of all, when you pre-order basketball uniforms, you never worry about running into stock issues. Because there’s nothing worse than finding out your uniforms are out of stock or backordered, two weeks before your game.
Most basketball jerseys can be screen printed or heat pressed. Sublimated jerseys are actually dyed directly onto the fabric, and do not technically get any type of traditional print. Each type of option gives a different look, and has a different cost associated.
Screen printed logos and numbers are a very standard type of print on basketball jerseys. The ink is printed and dried on the jersey. Price is usually very affordable and the logos and numbers look good. There isn’t any worry about numbers falling off or peeling.
Heat pressed vinyl is the most basic of all the methods, which makes it the cheapest. But it’s also a high-risk to crack, peel or just fall off the jersey. No pro team or college uses heat pressed vinyl, but it’s used occasionally for high school basketball uniforms. Rec leagues looking to save as much money as possible might also consider heat pressed numbers.
Other types of print, like twill and embroidery, work well for heavier football and baseball uniforms, but are not usually recommended for basketball uniforms.
CUSTOM, SUBLIMATED OR STOCK?
Stock uniforms are the traditional choice. It refers to a specific jersey or spandex being offered in specific colors and sizes. You do not customize any colors or patterns. Teams that choose to wear stock uniforms know they will look respectable and strong. These teams don’t need to worry about this year’s fashion trends, because they know that their skills and strength are all that matter on the court.
Custom basketball uniforms take stock basketball uniforms one step further. You get a main jersey color, and then get to pick certain insert or stripe colors. It makes your uniforms unique without being too flashy. This is for teams that want to be different, but not too in-your-face about it.
Sublimated uniforms are the new trend. Team that wear sublimated basketball uniforms want to be viewed as unique and cutting edge. Sometimes they’re a new program, or under a new coach that wants to show how much the team has grown and change.
Be sure to check out our Under Armour Uniform Designer and the Under Armour Custom and GameDay Select Uniform Builder
Don’t forget to check for guidelines on team basketball uniforms. At the high school level, uniforms are regulated by the NFHS. Before making a purchase, always verify that the jerseys NFHS compliant.
Top brands will always share that information, and will usually label which jerseys are “game jerseys” approved by the NFHS.
We spoke with Under Armour, who confirmed that all of their NFHS jerseys are marked in the catalog. And they stand behind that guarantee. If you purchase an NFHS compliant uniform from Under Armour, and fail uniform inspections, they will replace or refund the uniforms.
Here’s more information the NFHS uniform regulations: https://nfhs.org/media/885683/uniforms-2.pdf
Double check with you state and local governing boards to ensure that your new uniforms will meet any additional rules and regulations for your area.
PICK YOUR UNIFORM
Overall, the best basketball uniforms are the ones that fit the needs of your school or program. Speak with your team and coaches, and then contact your LTS sales rep to get more specific information that will help you and your team get the perfect new basketball uniforms.
LTS – Legacy Team Sales is your partner in team uniforms. Visit SHOPLTS.com and try your hand with our custom uniform designers, or speak with your very own knowledgeable sports rep and let us help you find the perfect uniforms for your program.