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Basketball Instruction/protect the knuckles


Hi Coach Jones,

Recently I've had a slight injury in my left hand pinky while playing basketball. I went to a nearby reflexologist who massaged my finger, and it's quite okay now. It may take a little more time to heal itself.

I also play the piano in our church, so I want to avoid similar finger injuries in the future. It appears that basketball is one of the "forbidden" sports for pianists, but I also love basketball. My cousin has recommended fingerbands, but it only covers the fingers:

I want a protection that covers the knuckles, like this one:

But they say it's only for weightlifting. Besides, you may have difficulties in ball handling while wearing that.

Aside from fingerbands, can you recommend a finger protection for pianists who play basketball?


You didn't say if you sprained or jammed your little finger, that's OK though.
You'll probably play piano and basketball for the rest of your life, there's really no reason to halt either.

Basketball's a forbidden sport for ALL musicians.  
There's really nothing that fits what you're after with no compromises.  The finger covers make it difficult to hyper extend your finger knuckles but they make holding and controlling the ball cumbersome.
Your little fingers and thumbs can hyper extend backwards and sideways, finger covers will not help on the sideways hyper extension.  Finger covers will not prevent jammed fingers either (nothing will).

Because you're a musician your fingers are stronger than most and therein lies the real key (no pun intended).  Strengthen your hand and fingers even more.  Here's a starting place:, add to this spider/mirror finger push-up stretches - fingers straight and finger tips together, push and stretch.

Your injured pinky needs special attention because it's prone to being re-injured for awhile.  Use tape and/or rubber bands to attach your pinky to your ring finger, I'd do it on both hands since you're a musician.  This will keep your little finger from hyper extending sideways without too much interference with your ball handling and shooting skills.

Now, if you plan on being a professional musician forget basketball, other than that go forth and enjoy both.  Exercise and stretching with a little preventative maintenance should take care of your issue.

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Coach Jones


I can answer most basketball technical, playing, and coaching questions.


Coaching basketball since 1982.

High School, College

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