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


In basketball, the term “swingman” (a.k.a. “wing” or “guard-forward”) denotes a player who can play both the shooting guard (2) and small forward (3) positions, and in essence swing between the positions.[1] Most swingmen range from 6' 5" (1.96 m) to 6' 9" (2.06 m) in height. The term was first applied to John Havlicek. Examples of current swingmen include Paul George, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Gordon Hayward, and Kyle Korver. Examples of retired NBA swingmen include Kobe Bryant, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin, and Tracy McGrady.

Ice hockey

In ice hockey, a swingman is a player that could play both defenseman and forward, such as Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets.


In baseball, a swingman is a pitcher who can work either as a reliever or as a starter;though in reality, baseball is a sport with set rotations and bullpen pitchers, swingmen are not commonly seen in today's sports era but it is of possibility for managers to exchange a starting pitcher with a bullpen arm for betterment of team's success. Usually, swingmen aren commonly seen in postseason baseball. When a team is in need of a win, a starting pitcher can comeback in for relief in any game after a day of them having pitched. For example, the Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series and in order to do so, their ace starting pitcher Chris Sale, who had just pitched 2 days before, came into the game in the 8th and 9th inning as a closer in order to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers and win the World Series therefore titling him a swingman for that series.Basically, swingmen are those pitchers, usually the best pitchers on the team, who are in need being that the team is in a position to win big games. c[2] sometimes, if the pitcher is usually a long reliever, he is called a "spot starter".

Australian football

The term is also used in Australian rules football, typically to describe a player who can play both in attack and in defence, usually as a key position player. Examples include Harry Taylor, Ryan Schoenmakers, Ben Reid and Jarryd Roughead.

See also


  1. ^ S. Trnini and D. Dizdar, System of the Performance Evaluation Criteria Weighted per Positions in the Basketball Game, 2000
  2. ^ Boston Globe

External links

Anton Ponkrashov

Anton Aleksandrovich Ponkrashov (Russian: Антон Александрович Понкрашов, born April 23, 1986) is a Russian professional basketball player for UNICS Kazan of the VTB United League. Standing at 2.00 m (6 ft 6 1⁄2 in), he can play as a swingman and as a point guard.

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.

Bob Walk

Robert Vernon Walk (born November 26, 1956), nicknamed "The Whirly Bird", is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1980), Atlanta Braves (1981–1983), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1984–1993).

During his rookie season in Philadelphia, Walk recorded 11 regular season wins and a victory in Game One of the 1980 World Series, his Phillies defeating the Kansas City Royals in six games. Traded to the Braves, he bounced between the main club and Triple-A, until being released in March 1984. Walk was signed to a minor league contract by the Pirates and led the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in earned run average (ERA) and wins in 1985, earning a trip back to the majors. He was named to the All-Star team in 1988 when he won 12 games and posted a 2.71 ERA.

In his waning years, Walk served as a spot starter and swingman for the Pirates' teams that won three straight NL East titles from 1990-1992. His most memorable outing being when manager Jim Leyland removed him from the bullpen and named him a surprise starter in Game Five of the 1992 NLCS against Atlanta. Walk tossed a complete game three-hitter to stave off elimination in a series which the Pirates would eventually lose in seven games. He was also the pitcher who was warmed up in the bullpen when Francisco Cabrera hit the two-run, game-winning single against Stan Belinda, which won the series for Atlanta. Despite both Walk and Cabrera being right-handers, Leyland opted to keep Belinda (despite having walked Damon Berryhill to load the bases and giving up a deep fly ball to Ron Gant) to pitch to Cabrera.

On June 30, 2007, the Pirates honored Walk with a Stadium Give Away bobble head night, during a game against the Washington Nationals.

Walk is currently an announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh and radio. He is also a fill-in game analyst on MLB on FOX.

Diego Pinheiro

Diego Pinheiro da Silva, commonly known as Diego Pinheiro, or simply as Diego (born June 14, 1980 in Brazil) is a Brazilian professional basketball player. He is a 6'5" (1.95 m) swingman.

Erjon Kastrati

Erjon Kastrati (born 30 December 1994) is a Kosovar-Albanian professional basketball player, currently playing as a swingman for Petrol Olimpija of the Liga Nova KBM. Kastrati plays for the Kosovo national basketball team.

Glen Gondrezick

Glen Michael 'Gondo' Gondrezick (August 30, 1955 – April 27, 2009) was an American basketball player who operated as either a shooting guard or a small forward (swingman).

James Lee (basketball)

James Lee (born January 17, 1956) is a retired American basketball player. He won an NCAA championship at the University of Kentucky and was a second-round draft pick in the 1978 NBA Draft.

Lee, a 6'5" swingman from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky, played college basketball for his hometown Kentucky Wildcats. He was a key player for four years and averaged 11.3 points per game on 56% shooting as the sixth man on the Wildcats' 1978 national championship team.Coming off a championship year, Lee was drafted in the second round of the 1978 NBA Draft (39th pick overall) by the Seattle SuperSonics, but never played in the NBA. Lee played for the Western Basketball Association's Tucson Gunners for one season, then played several years in the Continental Basketball Association. His best year came during the 1980–81 CBA season where Lee averaged 22.3 points per game for the Lehigh Valley Jets.

Jaren Jackson

Jaren Walter Jackson Sr. (born October 27, 1967) is an American professional basketball coach and former professional basketball player. A 6'4" (1.93 m) shooting guard born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jackson played at Georgetown University from 1985 to 1989 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in finance. He was never drafted into the NBA but played 13 seasons for multiple teams. He is best known for his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs, who he helped win their first NBA championship in 1999.

Joan Sastre

Joan Sastre Morro (born December 10, 1991) is a Spanish professional basketball player, who plays with Valencia Basket of the Spanish Liga ACB. He is a 2.01 m (6'7") tall, swingman, as he plays at both the shooting guard and small forward positions

Kevin Grevey

Kevin Michael Grevey (born May 12, 1953) is a retired American professional basketball player. A 6'5" (1.96 m) swingman, the left-handed Grevey played for the Washington Bullets from 1975–1983 and the Milwaukee Bucks from 1983–1985. He is now a color commentator for various college basketball games, including on national radio with Westwood One.

Mohammad Jamshidi

Mohammad Jamshidi Jafarabadi (Persian: محمد جمشیدی‎, born July 30, 1991) is an Iranian professional basketball player who last played for the Meralco Bolts in the Philippine Basketball Association. A 6'6" swingman, he is also a member of the Iranian men's national basketball team.

Nate Williams

Nathaniel Russell "Nate" Williams (born May 2, 1950 in Columbia, Louisiana) is a former professional basketball player. A 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) swingman from Utah State University, Williams was selected first in the 1971 NBA Hardship Draft, a supplemental draft for college underclassman. He played eight and a half seasons (1971–1979) in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City-Omaha Kings, New Orleans Jazz, and Golden State Warriors. His finest season took place in 1973–74, when he averaged 15.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists for the Kings. He ended his NBA career with 7,709 total points.

Roberto Bergersen

Roberto Bergersen (born January 6, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played the majority of his career for the Idaho Stampede in the Continental Basketball Association and the NBA Development League. A 6'6" swingman from Boise State University, he was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 52nd overall pick of the 1999 NBA draft. His rights were later traded to the Portland Trail Blazers, where he signed with them but was released before playing in a regular season game for them.On November 14, 2014, Bergersen's number 11 jersey was retired by the Idaho Stampede.Bergersen currently resides in Boise, Idaho with his family and is the Director of Basketball Curriculum at Hoop Dreams, a local all-star travel basketball team for boys and girls.

Roger Grimau

Roger Grimau Gragera (born July 14, 1978) is a Spanish retired professional basketball player who last played for La Bruixa d'Or Manresa. He is a 1.96 m (6'5") tall swingman, that could also play as a point guard.

Roy Marble

Roy Lane Marble, Jr. (December 13, 1966 – September 11, 2015) was an American professional basketball player, 6'6" tall, who played as a shooting guard/small forward - most popularly known as a swingman.

After playing four seasons at the University of Iowa from 1985 to 1989, Marble left the college as Iowa's all-time leading scorer with 2,116 points, Marble was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1989 NBA Draft, playing for the club during his rookie year (24 games, scoring a total of 51 points).

He also had a brief stint with the Denver Nuggets during the 1993–94 season, appearing in 5 games.

Shooting guard

The shooting guard (SG), also known as the two or off guard, is one of the five traditional positions in a regulation basketball game. A shooting guard's main objective is to score points for his team and steal the ball on defense. 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.

Tal Burstein

Tal Burstein (Hebrew: טל בורשטיין‎)(born February 19, 1980) is an Israeli professional basketball coach and a former professional basketball player.

He played at the point guard position and also as a swingman. He is 198 cm (6 ft 6 in) in height. He has also been named as one of the best Israeli basketball players ever.

Tweener (basketball)

A tweener in basketball is a term, sometimes used derisively, for a player who is able to play two positions, but is not ideally suited to play either position exclusively, so he/she is said to be in between. A tweener has a set of skills that do not match the traditional position of his physical stature.

NBA.com's definition of "tweener" is as follows:

"This word is derived from the word 'between', as in a player is between the height of a guard and a forward. 'Tweeners' often have the skills of a big man, but the height of a guard. Though only six foot six, Charles Barkley, a tweener, was one of the NBA's greatest rebounding power forwards."A player who is ideally suited to play two positions is sometimes referred to as a swingman, although that term is more commonly reserved specifically for those who are suited to play small forward and shooting guard.

Xavier Cooks

Xavier Cooks (born 19 August 1995) is an Australian basketball player for S.Oliver Würzburg of the Basketball Bundesliga. He played college basketball for Winthrop University. A 6’8" swingman, was named the 2018 Big South Conference Player of the Year.

Cooks, the son of former South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) and National Basketball League player Eric Cooks, attended the Australian Institute of Sport.


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