The Crossover Dribble

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

Outside magazine, July 1999

The Crossover Dribble

The Diving Dig | The Cartwheel | The Figure Four | Take the Stairs | The Crossover Dribble | The Righteous Gitis | The Rock-a-Copter | Hang Ten | The Twisting Somersault | The Wheelie

Basketball may be best known for its high-flying slams, but to truly elevate your game, you're better off using this sleight of hand, which leaves the court open for a dazzling drive. (Besides, if you can't dunk, you can't dunk.) Of course, a fake means little if your man doesn't buy it, says Mark Becher, a 37-year-old amateur star who pulled a sly crossover on NBA legend Artis Gilmore to win last year's Hoop-It-Up tourney (the Super Bowl of three-on-three ball). "You got to put it out there hard," says Becher, a sales manager by trade. "You've got to sell it."

Say you're dribbling on the right; turn to that side and step with your left foot and then your right. That's as far as you're going, but your defender shouldn't know this. If he takes the bait, he'll cross his right foot over his left, committing himself to one side. "If he bites, it's all over that quick," says Becher. "Just change the ball low and in front of him to your left hand, and drive left." You'll be free to waltz straight to the hoop. When the opposition doesn't bite, Becher likes to rock back on his heels. This, too, is bait. If his opponent leans forward, out of position, Becher is free to drive. If the guy hangs back, Becher takes the shot.


Foot speed. Use a stair climber on a fast setting to whittle down your reaction time. "It helps to have some quickness going into it," Becher says. "But you can develop it."

PHOTO: Greg Betz

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