Basketball-inspired baby names

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by Andy Warycka

Names from the hardcourt

If you’re a fan of basketball, perhaps you’d like to share your love of the sport by giving your new addition a name synonymous with the game. Here are a couple ideas to get you started, helping to ensure that naming your baby is — pardon the pun — a slam dunk!

Hoop dreams

We can’t start any discussion of basketball names without mentioning the sport’s creator, James Naismith. Of course, there are the legendary players like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Julius Erving. Of course, no list of basketball names could possibly be complete without the three players who vaulted the sport to new heights in the 80s and 90s — Larry Bird, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and of course, Michael Jordan (who provides us with not one but two possible names).

Basketball-inspired baby names

If you’d like to look at more current player names, you can pick from LeBron James (though probably not popular in Cleveland), Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, or even Amar’e Stoudemire.

Half court shots

Though not quite as loaded with off the wall and amusing names as hockey has been over time, basketball certainly has had its fill of unique player names. For starters, you’ve got Jerome “Pooh” Richardson, Eric Augustus “Sleepy” Floyd, Spud Webb (Anthony Jerome Webb) and Muggsy Bogues (born Tyrone Curtis Bogues). Not off the wall enough? Try Mookie Blalock (aka Daron Oshay Blaylock), Olden Polynice, Thurl Bailey, or Manute Bol on for size. And I do mean size — the late Manute Bol stood 7’7″.

Let’s not forget the ladies

Thanks to the WNBA, there are a good number of well known female basketball players too, so if you’re having a little girl you don’t have to feel left out. While I think Sheryl Swoopes is the greatest basketball name of all time, there’s the also alliterative (and twin first-named) Lisa Leslie, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi, and Chamique Holdsclaw.

Obviously, these are only a fraction of the names of notable basketball players worldwide, but it should give you a good head start at naming your new little hoop dreamer.