Shooting guard

The shooting guard (SG), also known as the two or off guard,[1] is one of the five traditional positions in a regulation basketball game. A shooting guard's main objective is to score points for his/her team and steal the ball on defense.[1] Some teams ask their shooting guards to bring up the ball as well; these players are known colloquially as combo guards. A player who can switch between playing shooting guard and small forward is known as a swingman. In the NBA, shooting guards usually range from 6' 3" (1.91 m) to 6' 7" (2.01 m) and 5' 9" (1.75 m) to 6' 0" (1.83 m) in the WNBA.

Jordan by Lipofsky 16577
Michael Jordan, a well-known shooting guard who played in the NBA.

Characteristics and styles of play

The Basketball Handbook by Lee Rose describes a shooting guard as someone whose primary role is to score points. As the name suggests, most shooting guards are good long-range shooters, typically averaging 35–40 percent from three-point range. Many shooting guards are also strong and athletic, and have the ability to get inside the paint and drive to the basket.

Typically, shooting guards are taller than point guards. Height at the position varies; many bigger shooting guards also play small forward. Shooting guards should be good ball handlers and be able to pass reasonably well, though passing is not their main priority. Since good shooting guards may attract double-teams, they are frequently the team's back-up ball handlers to the point guard and typically get a fair number of assists.[2]

Shooting guards must be able to score in various ways, especially late in a close game when defenses are tighter. They need to have a good free throw percentage too, to be reliable in close games and to discourage opposing players from fouling. Because of the high level of offensive skills shooting guards need, they are often a team's primary scoring option, and sometimes the offense is built around them.

In the NBA, there are some shooting guards referred to as "3 and D" players. The term 3 and D implies that the player is a good 3 point shooter who can also play solid (sometimes elite) defense. The 3 and D player has become very important as the game sways to be perimeter oriented.[3]

Good shooting guards can often play point guard to a certain extent. It is usually accepted that point guards should have the ball in their hands at most times in the game, but sometimes the shooting guard has a significant enough influence on the team where he or she handles the ball extremely often, to the point where the point guard may be reduced to a backup ball handler or spot-up shooter.

Notable shooting guards

Notable NBA shooting guards include Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Manu Ginóbili, Allen Iverson, James Harden, Ray Allen, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin, Reggie Miller, Klay Thompson.


  1. ^ a b Shooting guards are 6'3"–6'7". BBC Sports academy. URL last accessed 2006-09-09.
  2. ^ " - Players and Positions". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  3. ^ "'3-and-D': The specialist's path to a long NBA career". Retrieved 3 February 2018.


  • The Basketball Handbook (pg 15) (2004). Lee H. Rose ISBN 0-7360-4906-1

External links

Media related to Shooting guards at Wikimedia Commons

Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

The Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the men's basketball player in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) voted as the most outstanding player. It has been presented since the league's first season, 1953–54, by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, and beginning in 2012–13 has also been presented in separate voting by the league's head coaches. The award was first given to Dickie Hemric of Wake Forest, and the coaches' award was first presented in 2013 to Shane Larkin of Miami.Two players have won the award three times: David Thompson of North Carolina State and Ralph Sampson of Virginia. Hemric, Len Chappell, Larry Miller, John Roche, Len Bias, Danny Ferry, Tim Duncan and J. J. Redick have won the award twice. There have been two ties in the award's history, which occurred at the end of the 2000–01 and 2012–13 seasons: In 2000–01 Joseph Forte of North Carolina and Shane Battier of Duke shared the award; and Erick Green of Virginia Tech and Larkin shared honors in 2012–13. Green and Larkin split the honor in the first year that the ACC began voting for players of the year by the conference's coaches and media separately (the media chose Green while the coaches chose Larkin).Sixteen players have received either the Naismith or Wooden National Player of the Year awards in the same season that they received an ACC Player of the Year award. Duke's Zion Williamson is the most recent player to achieve this (2019). Each of the original 1953 ACC members has had at least one of its players win the award. Five ACC members have not had a winner: Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. However, of these schools, only Florida State joined the ACC before 2013.

Basketball positions

The five basketball positions normally employed by organized basketball teams are the point guard (PG), the shooting guard

(SG), the small forward (SF), the power forward (PF), and the center (C).

Typically the point guard is the leader of the team on the court. This position requires substantial ball handling skills and the ability to facilitate the team during a play. The shooting guard, as the name implies, is often the best shooter. As well as being capable of shooting accurately from longer distances, this position tends to also be the best defender on the team. The small forward often has an aggressive approach to the basket when handling the ball. The small forward is also known to make cuts to the basket in efforts to get open for shots. The power forward and the center are usually called the "frontcourt", often acting as their team's primary rebounders or shot blockers, or receiving passes to take inside shots. The center is typically the larger of the two.

Historically, only three positions were recognized (two guards, two forwards, and one center) based on where they played on the court: Guards generally played outside and away from the hoop and forwards played outside and near the baseline, with the center usually positioned in the key. During the 1980s, team strategy evolved after the three-point shot was added to the game. More specialized roles developed, resulting in the five position designations used today. However, individual team strategy and availability of personnel can alter the positions used by a particular team. For example, the dribble-drive motion offense and the Princeton offense use four interchangeable guards and one center. This set is also known as a "four-in and one-out" play scheme. Other combinations are also prevalent.

Besides the five basic positions, some teams use non-standard or hybrid positions, such as the point forward, a hybrid small forward/point guard; the swingman, a hybrid small forward/shooting guard; the big, a hybrid power forward/center; and the stretch four, a power forward with the shooting range of typical shooting guards.

Boston Celtics all-time roster

The following is a list of players, both past and current, who appeared in at least one regular season or playoff game for the Boston Celtics NBA franchise.

Combo guard

A combo guard is a basketball player who combines the attributes of a point guard (1) and shooting guard (2), but does not necessarily fit the standard description of either position. Such guards are usually within the 6' 2" (1.88 m) and 6' 4" (1.93 m) height range. Most combo guards tend to be between point and shooting guards in terms of height, although some possess the height of a point or shooting guard specifically which affects how each plays.

Combo guards became prominent in the 1990s, when players such as Allen Iverson and Penny Hardaway were switched between playing point guard and shooting guard, depending on offensive and defensive situations. Combo guards use their ball-handling skills to bring the ball up the court and set up teammates, while also having the ability to shoot well.

The best combo guards use their "in-between" height and athleticism to their own advantage: smaller point guards will use speed and agility to run past bigger players, while bigger shooting guards will shoot over the top of smaller players with their jump shots.

Historically, combo guards have been viewed as difficult for coaches to fit into an offensive system; however, combo guards have more recently become an important part of basketball, especially in the NBA. Dwyane Wade, a shooting guard with point-guard-like ball handling, led the Miami Heat to their first-ever NBA Championship in 2006, and won the Finals MVP award for the same championship series. In addition, the shift in the sport from a fundamental-driven style of play to a more scoring-oriented one means that the inferior passing ability of such guards is not viewed as a serious detriment. This shift is in part explained by hand-checking rules instituted by the NBA in 2007, which makes it a foul for a defender to use his hands to impede an offensive player. This allowed many smaller, weaker combo guards to use their speed to drive around stronger, taller players. In fact, many shorter young players (6' 2" or shorter) focus on developing their scoring abilities, whereas previously they would have to be proper point guards with the innate ability to pass to succeed in the professional leagues. For example on that end, Allen Iverson is 6' 0" (1.83 m) tall, but given his shoot-first mentality, despite his exceptional ball-handling skills, he started playing as a shooting guard. He was rated as the fifth-greatest shooting guard of all time by ESPN in 2008. Other examples of combo guards are Jerry West, Jason Terry, Monta Ellis, Goran Dragic, Lou Williams, Juan Carlos Navarro, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Victor Oladipo, Zach LaVine, Joe Dumars, and Jeff Hornacek.

This is in contrast to "true" (or "pure") point guards such as Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, Kevin Johnson and Ricky Rubio. These players exhibit a pass-first mentality, value assists and steals over points, and embrace the responsibility of playmaker rather than finisher. They conform to the perception that a point guard's duties are to direct the offense, distribute the ball, create scoring opportunities for others, and attempt the shot only if there are no open teammates to be found.

Some players, for example James Harden, Devin Booker, Manu Ginóbili, Tyreke Evans, Shaun Livingston, Jordan Clarkson, Jamal Crawford, Greivis Vasquez, Lonzo Ball, and Rodney Stuckey, have the requisite size for a shooting guard (6' 5" or taller), but due to their above-average ball-handling and playmaking ability, are used as combo guards or even as swingmen.

In the Euroleague, the most notable examples are Vassilis Spanoulis, who has led his team to 3 Euroleague championships, and Sergio Llull, who has led Real Madrid to win Euroleague last season (2015) and nearly joined Houston Rockets that year before signing renewal with his lifelong team. Other examples include American-born Macedonian player, Lester "Bo" McCalebb.

Deividas Sirvydis

Deividas Sirvydis (born 10 June 2000) is a Lithuanian professional basketball player for Rytas Vilnius of the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL). Standing 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in), he plays the shooting guard position.

Haggerty Award

The Haggerty Award is given to the All-New York Metropolitan NCAA Division I men's college basketball player of the year, presented by the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and the Met Basketball Writers Association (MBWA). First presented in 1936, it is arguably the oldest and most prestigious award given to a metropolitan area player. Two schools with previous winners are no longer classified as Division I – CCNY and NYU are now Division III and are therefore ineligible to have future winners.

The award has gone to players from 15 Division I schools. St. John's University in Jamaica, New York has the most at 27, more than twice the 13 awards received by players from number two Seton Hall University.

Three players won the award three times: Jim McMillian from Columbia University (1968–1970), Chris Mullin of St. John's (1983–1985) and Charles Jenkins of Hofstra (2009–2011). McMillian would go on to win the 1972 NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers; Mullin went on to win two Olympic gold medals (1984, 1992) with Team USA, was a five-time NBA All-Star and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011; and Jenkins has played in the NBA and Europe.

Jerry West Award

The Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award is an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top men's collegiate shooting guard. Following the success of the Bob Cousy Award which had been awarded since 2004, the award was one of four new awards (along with the Julius Erving Award, Karl Malone Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award) created as part of the inaugural College Basketball Awards show in 2015. It is named after NBA Finals Champion and NBA Finals MVP player Jerry West. The inaugural winner was D'Angelo Russell.

Joe Dumars

Joe Dumars III (born May 24, 1963) is an American former basketball player in the National Basketball Association.

He could play either shooting guard or point guard on offense and was a highly effective defender. He played for the Detroit Pistons from 1985 until 1999. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dumars and Isiah Thomas combined to form one of the best backcourts in NBA history. Initially a shooting guard, Dumars moved to point guard following Thomas' retirement in 1994, sharing ball-handling duties with Grant Hill. Dumars was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. Dumars served as the President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons from 2000 to 2014.

Mid-American Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

Not to be confused with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Men's Basketball Player of the Year.The Mid-American Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the most outstanding men's basketball player in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The award was first given following the 1967–68 season. Four players have won the award multiple times: Tom Kozelko, Ron Harper, Gary Trent and Bonzi Wells. Trent is the only player to have been honored as player of the year three times (1993–95). There have been no ties, nor has any player from the MAC ever won any of the national player of the year awards.

Through 2018, Ohio has the most all-time winners with eleven. Miami and Toledo are tied for second with six winners. All current members of the MAC have had at least one winner.

NABC Player of the Year

The NABC Player of the Year is an award given annually by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to recognize the top player in men's college basketball. The award has been given since the 1974–75 season to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I basketball players. The association added awards for Division II and Division III players in 1983, and for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and junior college players in 2008. The awards have previously been sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

In Division I, Duke has the most all-time winners with six. Their rival, North Carolina, as well as Kansas are tied for second with four winners. There have been three ties for NABC Player of the Year (2002, 2004, 2006), and only two players have won the award multiple times (Jay Williams and Ralph Sampson).

In Division II, Virginia Union has four winners, the most all-time, and is followed by Kentucky Wesleyan which has three. Only one tie has occurred (2006), while three players have won the award more than once (Stan Gouard, Earl Jones, John Smith).

In Division III, Potsdam State has the most all-time winners with three, while six other schools are tied for second with two winners apiece. There have been two ties (2007, 2010) and four repeat winners (Leroy Witherspoon, Andrew Olson, Aaron Walton-Moss and Joey Flannery).

At the NAIA level, there is a distinction between NAIA Division I and NAIA Division II winners. Since the awards began in 2008, no school or individual player has received the award multiple times. In junior college, every winner has been a sophomore and has gone on to play at an NCAA Division I school after their community college careers have ended.

NBA Most Valuable Player Award

The National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1955–56 season to the best performing player of the regular season. The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the first commissioner (then president) of the NBA, who served from 1946 until 1963. Until the 1979–80 season, the MVP was selected by a vote of NBA players. Since the 1980–81 season, the award is decided by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.

Each member of the voting panel casts a vote for first to fifth place selections. Each first-place vote is worth 10 points; each second-place vote is worth seven; each third-place vote is worth five, fourth-place is worth three and fifth-place is worth one. Starting from 2010, one ballot was cast by fans through online voting. The player with the highest point total wins the award. As of June 2019, the current holder of the award is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Every player who has won this award and has been eligible for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has been inducted. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award a record six times. He is also the only player to win the award despite his team not making the playoffs back in the 1975–76 season. Both Bill Russell and Michael Jordan won the award five times, while Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James won the award four times. Russell and James are the only players to have won the award four times in five seasons. Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson each won the award three times, while Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and Stephen Curry have each won it twice. Only two rookies have won the award: Chamberlain in the 1959–60 season and Wes Unseld in the 1968–69 season. Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria, Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Nash of Canada, Dirk Nowitzki of Germany, and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece are the only MVP winners considered "international players" by the NBA.Curry in 2015–16 is the only player to have won the award unanimously. Shaquille O'Neal in 1999–2000 and James in 2012–13 are the only two players to have fallen one vote shy of a unanimous selection, both receiving 120 of 121 votes. Since the 1975–76 season, only two players have been named MVP for a season in which their team failed to win at least 50 regular-season games—Moses Malone (twice, 1978–79 and 1981–82) and Russell Westbrook (2016–17).

Nike Hoop Summit

The Nike Hoop Summit is an international men's basketball all-star game sponsored by Nike, held once a year since 1995, except from 2001-2003, which features the USA Basketball Men's Junior Select Team against a World Select Team of international players. The players demonstrate their skills and hope to attract attention from either NBA scouts or colleges. A number of current NBA players have participated in this event in the past.

In the 2010 edition of the event, Enes Kanter scored 34 points and surpassed the event's record of 33 points set by Dirk Nowitzki in 1998. Bismack Biyombo recorded the first triple-double in Hoop Summit history in 2011 with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 blocks. In 2012, Shabazz Muhammad scored 35 points to break Enes Kanter's Hoop Summit scoring record.13 players, all members of the World Team have been selected to play in two Hoop Summits: Jovo Stanojević (1995 & 1996), Alexandre Bachminov (1996 & 1997), Matthew Nielsen (1997 & 1998), Antonis Fotsis, (1998 & 1999), Boštjan Nachbar (1999 & 2000), Olumide Oyedeji (1999 & 2000), Alexis Ajinça (2007 & 2008), Dario Šarić (2011 & 2012), Andrew Wiggins (2012 & 2013), Karl-Anthony Towns (2013 & 2014), Jamal Murray (2014 & 2015), Thon Maker (2015 & 2016), and RJ Barrett (2017 & 2018).

Although it previously rotated American cities, the event has been hosted in Portland, Oregon since 2008.

Oscar Robertson Trophy

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is given out annually to the outstanding men's college basketball player by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). The trophy is considered to be the oldest of its kind and has been given out since 1959.

Robert V. Geasey Trophy

The Robert V. Geasey Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding basketball player in the Philadelphia Big 5, an informal association of college athletic programs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is not an MVP award and does not represent the entire regular season's most valuable player; the award goes simply to the best basketball player for Big 5 games played that season. It has been given since 1956 and is granted by the Herb Good Basketball Club. Members of the Philadelphia Big 5 are La Salle University, the University of Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph's University, Temple University and Villanova University.

Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

The Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is an award given to the player who has proven himself, throughout the season, to be the most exceptional talent in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The school with the most SEC Player of the Year award winners is Kentucky, with 16 total awards. The only current SEC members that have never had a winner are Missouri and Texas A&M, the conference's two newest members (both joining in 2012).

Three different organizations have given this award: United Press International (1965–1992), Associated Press (1965–present), and the SEC coaches (1987–present).

Southern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

The Southern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the Southern Conference's (SoCon) most outstanding player. The award was first given following the 1951–52 season. Fred Hetzel of Davidson is the only player to have won the award three times (1963–1965). Fifteen other players have won the award twice, most recently done by Fletcher Magee of Wofford (2018, 2019).

Davidson has the most all-time winners with 13, but it left the SoCon after the 2013–14 season to join the Atlantic 10 Conference. Among current members, Furman leads with 12 winners. There have also been nine ties in the award's history, but only one (1970–71 season) which occurred prior to the 1989–90 season. That season was the first for two separate Player of the Year awards—one by the Southern Conference men's basketball coaches, and the other by conference media members. When both the coaches and media select the same player, he is the consensus conference player of the year.

The only current members that have never had a winner are Samford and Mercer. Both are among the SoCon's newer members, having respectively joined in 2008 and 2014.

Sporting News Men's College Basketball Player of the Year

The Sporting News Men's College Basketball Player of the Year is an annual basketball award given to the best men's basketball player in NCAA Division I competition. The award was first given following the 1942–43 season and is presented by Sporting News (formerly The Sporting News), an American–based sports magazine that was established in 1886.

No award winners were selected from 1947–49 and from 1952–57. Repeat winners of the Sporting News Player of the Year award are rare; as of 2016, it has occurred only six times in the award's 63 presentations. Of those six repeat winners, only Oscar Robertson of Cincinnati and Bill Walton of UCLA have been named the player of the year three times.

UCLA and Duke have the most all-time with seven. North Carolina has the second most with five winners.


A swingman is an athlete capable of playing multiple positions in their sport.

Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

The Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the Western Athletic Conference's (WAC) most outstanding player. The award was first given following the 1980–81 season. Keith Van Horn of Utah and Nick Fazekas of Nevada are the only players to have won the award three times. Three other players—Michael Cage, Josh Grant and Melvin Ely—have won the award twice. Danny Ainge, the first ever WAC Player of the Year, was also the John R. Wooden Award winner in 1980–81.

Utah has the most all-time winners with seven. There have been four ties in the award's history, most notably in 1982–83 when there was a three-way tie. Due mainly to major membership turnover from 2010 to 2014, only three current WAC members, New Mexico State, UMKC and Utah Valley, have had a winner.


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