top of page

The Physics of Basketball

Photo of basketball players jumping for the ball


NGSS Standards:


Transcript-The Physics of Basketball
Download PDF • 230KB

Can science make you better at sports? Sports scientist John Drazan says the answer is yes. John shares how losing a high school basketball game made him start thinking like a scientist. His high school physics teacher stepped in to explain how an idea called “mechanical advantage” could have saved the last point of the game - and changed his life forever. Join us to hear John’s aha moment, and hear his tips on how science can make you better at the things you love to do.


We met John Drazan at the AAAS conference, where he received a prestigious award for his awesome work using sports to teach science. This video sums up his accomplishments.

For the sports analytics nerds among us (raise your hands proudly!), John has done some amazing research showing how sports can widen the appeal of math and science. He even won a competition at MIT for his paper! It's very cool, trust us. He wrote an article on Medium explaining his approach.

John is a researcher, teacher, and also directs a STEM program for a non-profit near his hometown. Read about his work with the very cool organization, 4th Family.


If your brain is tingling to learn more about science in sports, hooo boy. You're on the brink of a lot of discovery.

ESPN has an amazing series of videos called "Sport Science" that will non-stop blow your mind with the science behind the feats of every sport.

Start here, where Nyjah Huston explains the physics of skateboarding.

TED-Ed, a maker of great educational videos and lesson plans, also has a playlist with all their sports + science videos:

And it's not just videos that can teach you things! There's books too. Check out titles like:

There's plenty more where that came from - ask your librarian to help you find more sports science books!

If you'd like to take John's tip of reading more about what you want to improve at, your librarian can help with that too, finding relevant information on the internet and beyond.

bottom of page