What Is Cherry Picking In Basketball

what is cherry picking in basketball

When you’re playing basketball, there are a lot of different things that you need to keep in mind. You have to oversee your opponent, anticipate their next move and react accordingly. You are always keeping track of your opponent, and knowing where they are on the court is known as “cherry picking” because it sounds like something out of a kid’s game. This article will explain what is cherry picking in basketball, how to do it, and why it’s essential.


Cherry picking refers to staying behind your opponent’s defense to wait for them to commit a turnover, miss a shot, and then quickly move into position to get the rebound or steal the ball.

It’s a strategy that works best if you’re playing a team that likes to wait for you to make a mistake before they try to score, which is why it’s most commonly used in basketball when the opponent is holding the ball (usually in a situation where they’re waiting for the clock to run out). As we said, there are a few situations in which cherry picking in basketball can be helpful.

The most common scenario is when your opponent has the ball and is waiting for the shot clock to run down. Since they’re not trying to score, there’s no real reason to stay in their half of the court when the other team has the ball. Instead, cherry picking allows you to set up your defense closer to the other team’s basket. You’ll have an easier time blocking shots and getting the ball.

A less common situation where cherry picking is useful is when you’re on offense and want to get the ball closer to the hoop as quickly as possible. In this situation, you’ll want to cherry pick to avoid the risk of turning the ball over.


As we’ve already explained, cherry-picking is a strategy you will always use when you’re playing defense. The first thing you’ll do is figure out where your opponent is on the court.

Since they’re the ones with the ball, they’ll be in their half of the court, and you’ll have to be in your half to block their shot or steal the ball. Suppose you’re cherry-picking in a situation where the shot clock is counting down. In that case, you’ll have to stay in your half of the court until the last second before running towards the other team’s goal.

Once you’re in the position to block the shot or steal the ball, make sure you’re not too close to your opponent, or you’ll risk getting called for a foul. You want to be close enough to get to the ball first but far enough away that you won’t be called for a push-off or a false start if you move too quickly.

Why Is Cherry Picking Important?

As we’ve already explained, cherry picking is one of the best ways to get the ball while playing defense. Seeing your opponents get rewarded for hanging back. At the same time, you try to score can be frustrating, so it’s essential to know how to protect yourself from getting picked.

If you can force your opponents to make a shot from farther away, you’ll have a better chance of blocking their shot or getting the ball if they miss. If you allow them to run the shot clock down and take a closer shot, it’ll be harder for you to defend. The best defense is a good offense, after all.

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