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How to Do a Pump Fake

Learn how to do a pump fake from former top-ranking college basketball player Jason Curry in this Howcast video.


Right now we'll talk about how to do a pump fake. A pump fake is essential in basketball because it fakes the defender to think that you're really going to be shooting when you're not.

A couple of important aspects as far as effective pump faking is, one you want your pump fake to look as realistic to your jump shot as possible. What we work on, and Sammy is very good at pump faking, is we want to make sure that we stay low off the pump fake. So it'll look like this.

As we shoot our jump shot, most of the time if you are basketball playing, you receive a pass in the game, the first thing you do if you're going to shoot is get low, because then you'll bring the ball up to shoot. So as an effective pump fake what you want to do is you want to make sure that the first thing you do is sit down. What a lot of people make the mistake of doing are a couple of things. One, people pump fake where they catch the ball and they bring the ball up above their head without bending their knees. But realistically, nobody's gonna shoot a jump shot just like this. Most people need to bend their knees in order to shoot.

The second common mistake that people make when they use a pump fake is this. They'll pump fake and move their feet. So you notice that my back foot moved. But a lot of times people don't shoot jump shots like this. Okay? So you want your pump fake to look realistic. So now, as a shooter, I want my pump fake, the first thing I wanna do is bend my knees. And as I'm bending my knees I want to show the ball simultaneously. So it'll look like this. I catch it, I bend, I pump fake. I'll do it one more time. I catch the ball, I bend my knees and I pump fake. So now, after I pump fake I'm able to accelerate and make a move pushing off, already being low. Okay?

The last thing I want to talk about with the pump fake is that we do not want to stand up. So I'm pump faking, I'm low and then I'm pushing it out, ready to shoot. One more time. I pump fake, I'm low, I'm ready to shoot and I'll step across with my opposite leg. I'll pump fake, I'm low and I'm ready to shoot.

So right now we'll have Sammy demonstrate, okay? I'll throw him the ball and I want to see how his pump fake looks without shooting the basketball, alright? So we'll break it down slowly. I throw it to him, he bends and shows the ball. So that really looks like he's gonna shoot the ball. Because if I'm a defender, and I throw him the ball and he does this, that's gonna get me to lean. And now what we'll have Sammy do on the next one is, as the defender comes at him, I want him to pump fake and then take the shot. Alright? So we'll have Sammy back up just a little bit and now it's live, okay? And I'm not gonna lie, I'm a great defender. I'm gonna try to block his shot right now. I don't care how little he is. Ready? Here we go.

Shot! Very good. So you notice the last thing that he did which I didn't talk about is he pushed the ball out to cover ground. Meaning that off of this pump fake you don't want to just catch it and dribble in the same spot. But you want to cover ground to lose the defender. So he pump faked and he got to that free throw line area and knocked it down. My man Sammy, good shot.

That's how you use a proper pump fake.

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