Football and soccer might be the most popular sports tattoos that you will find, but basketball tattoos have been soaring up the ranks in recent years. Basketball tattoos allow people to show their love for their sport through their ink in a number of different ways. You might be thinking that there are only a few options to choose from and just a few meanings that can be attached to them, but the truth is that it’s very easy to make a unique basketball tattoo.
Basketball is a very popular sport, especially in the United States, that speaks to many different people from all types of backgrounds. The sport is accessible to anyone as there is little to no equipment aside from the basketball itself and can provide a sense of belonging to those who join a team. The tattoos can represent something very personal to the owner or it can even represent the community that they have come to know through the sport.
Basketball tattoos are for people who have been impacted in a major way by the sport. It’s not just for players, either. If you have been inspired by a basketball player or the sport just brings you a lot of happiness, you might be a great candidate for one of these sports tattoos.
On this page we are going to cover some of the most commonly used basketball tattoo meanings. We’ll also take a look at some of the ways you can get your basketball tat designed should you end up deciding to get one.
Popular Basketball Tattoo Meanings
You can be sure that anyone who gets a basketball tattoo loves the sport and they are proud to tell the world just that. This meaning is usually there no what type of design the person decides to get. In most cases these people play basketball now or used to in their past, though that doesn’t have to be the case. Basketball is loved by millions of people around the globe, which is why basketball tattoos have flown up in popularity in recent decades.
Basketball, like a lot of other sports, is known for being a great stress reliever, so some people will get their tattoos to represent that aspect of the sport in their lives. They might look at their tattoo to remember to motivate themselves when they are down, or they could even want others to see it so they know they are always available to play.
If the basketball tattoo as a team’s logo in the design, you can be sure that the owner loves that team. It not only represents their fandom, but also the community aspect of a shared passion for local teams. To a lot of people, watching and rooting on their favorite teams is the most important parts of their lives outside of their families.
Crowns added to the top of the basketball added a sense of regality. This could be to emphasize the talent of the player or the prestige of the sport, or both. The phrase “King of the Court” is sometimes added and generally implied when the crow is added to the design.
You will also find that plenty of people include basketballs in designs that are meant to symbolize their childhoods. A lot of people, particularly in America, have fond memories of playing basketball with their families when they were younger, so a basketball or hoop can be a great addition to these types of designs.
Basketball Tattoo Designs and Placement
Basketball images can be designed in countless ways, incorporating different symbols to represent the individual’s story and personality. They can be designed simply with just a basketball and perhaps a name or they can be much more lavish with players and crowds. Regardless of the design, every basketball tattoo can symbolize all of the meanings mentioned above and you can also further customize it to hold new meanings.
Basketball designs on their own are usually rendered quite simply, using simple line work to show the curvature and eight panels of the ball. Often, it is done in black lines, allowing the negative space of the design to create the remainder of the image.
A jersey number or number of a favorite player is often added to basketball tattoos to further personalize them. Sometimes the number is placed on a basketball, on a jersey, or even off to the side of the rest of the image. If the number is for a favorite player, the official NBA font is usually chosen to make the tattoo as realistic as possible. Some people even go the extra mile with these types of basketball tattoos and have their numbers designed in a way that makes them look stitched onto their skin.
Basketball players are popular images as well, either a specific favorited player or the silhouette, often leaping to dunk the ball. Particular jerseys are usually included with the image of a player, indicating the team and number. You can go in a lot of different directions with these types of designs. Some people will get very large portraits of their favorite players in full color, while others will include the players in a larger piece. The latter is quite popular right now with sleeve tattoos being all the rage.
The outline of the ball can be rendered in a heart shape to feminize it. Similarly, a heart shape can be embedded into the ball. Of course, you don’t have to add in any extra design elements or tweak anything on the basketball to make it a feminine tattoo.
More realistically, the ball can be designed like an anatomical heart, incorporating the sport with edgier imagery. In these cases the heart still has the leather outer layer like a basketball and will still be rounded so people can clearly see what it is. This type of design usually shows that basketball is a major part of the person’s life and making the tattoo in this way makes the meaning that much clearer to outside observers.
Larger pieces usually embellish the basketball with flames, wings, or the basket itself. If you do decide to add in any of these extra design elements, you should know the meanings attached to them as well to ensure you end up with a basketball tattoo that really represents who you are.
The ball can be pictured sweeping through the net, indicating the skill of the player. These tattoos often only have the hoop included in them but some people do opt to include a player shooting in the background.
Broad wings are often added to the design, giving an angelic appearance. The wings create a sense of liberation that is found in participating in the sport, relaying the significance of it. For Christians, a crucifix can be added to the design, conveying the importance of basketball as well as one’s faith.
Is the Basketball Tattoo Right for You?
As you can see, there is a lot to like about basketball tattoos. There are simple yet powerful meanings as well as very deep meanings for some people who choose to get one of these tattoos. On top of all of that, there are plenty of ways to get basketball tattoos designed, so it’s no surprise that so many people are getting them these days.
Whether a basketball tattoo is right for you or not comes down to your love for the game or something that it represents. If you have always had deep feelings for the sport or you made important connections through basketball, then you are probably the type of person who will always love having a basketball tattoo of some kind on your skin.
If you do end up deciding to get a basketball tattoo, be sure to let your artist know about all of the meanings you are choosing to use so they can help you come up with a good design. If you take your time with the design process you will greatly increase your chances of ending up with a basketball tattoo that you will always be proud to own.