Youth Basketball - The Five Positions | Drive Nation

Youth Basketball: Learning the Different Positions

Youth Basketball Positions

Learn the Five Positions for Youth Basketball

Traditionally, there are five different positions that you have on the floor during a basketball game. These positions are point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center.

Typically, these positions all have unique attributes and skill sets, but as basketball has evolved it’s been more common to see players slot into unusual roles they typically wouldn’t take. For instance, sometimes LeBron James will play point guard, despite the fact he’s usually a small forward or power forward. Due to his immense skill set, when he plays point guard, the team tends to do great! Many NBA teams are also using the “small ball” technique more often, where you’ll smaller players playing the center and power forward positions. Although this may not get you as many rebounds or shots in the post, it does offer increased quickness and shooting ability.

Now, obviously your youth basketball league won’t be playing at the NBA level, so the positions will usually be more traditional. Today in the Drive Nation blog, we’ll discuss these positions, and what they’re roles and skills are.

Point Guard

The point guard’s job is typically to bring the ball down the court and set up the play. A point guard should be a good passer and ball handler above all else. Shooting is important too, but play-making takes priority here. Steph Curry, Magic Johnson, Russell Westbrook, and Allen Iverson are all examples of great point guards.

Shooting Guard

The shooting guard’s main responsibility is right there in the name. This player needs to be a good shooter, especially along the perimeter. They should have a good ability to make space and get open or be hard to guard even when they’re not open. Some great examples of shooting guards are Michael Jordan, Dwayne Wade, James Harden, and Kobe Bryant.

Small Forward

The small forward should be your most versatile all-around player. They need to be able to make plays and shoot, but they should also be able to rebound and play in the post. Some examples of great small forwards are Lebron James, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, and Carmelo Anthony.

Power Forward

The power forward should be strong and able to be physical. They’ll be responsible for a lot of rebounding and inside shooting. They should also be able to shoot the mid-range shot. Some of the best examples of power forwards include Dirk Nowitzki, Blake Griffin, Tim Duncan, and Lebron James.


The center is typically the tallest player on the team. They also need to be strong, as they’ll be doing a lot of work in the post. A center needs to be able to post up and score down low, as well as get a lot of rebounds. Some examples of great centers are Shaq, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and DeMarcus Cousins.

Youth Basketball at Drive Nation

No matter what position you play or what skills you have, you can find a place to play youth basketball at Drive Nation. We offer youth basketball leagues, clinics, and camps. For more information on our youth basketball programs, please contact us today or continue browsing our website.