NBA Teams within Driving Distance of Reston

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Sitting in a basketball stadium and watching your favorite team play in person is every NBA fan’s fantasy. For those who are living in Reston, Virginia with dreams of seeing the NBA close-up, there are lots of options just a short drive away. Brought to you by Cheap Movers DC, here are five NBA teams you can make a day trip to go see:

1. Washington Wizards

Located in the heart of Washington D.C., the Washington Wizards play at the Verizon Center (near Chinatown) which holds around 18,000 fans. The Wizards were originally called the Washington Bullets and are in the Southeast Division of the NBA which includes the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic. Since Reston is a suburb of D.C., the trip is a short 22-mile drive that only takes about 35-minutes to get there!

2. Philadelphia Sixers

If you head up the I-95 Highway North from Reston, you can check out a game at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia Sixers. The venue is 158-miles from Reston and will take you around 2.5-hours by car to get there. The Sixers are in the Atlantic Division with the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Toronto Raptors. Although the team has had well-known personalities throughout its history, such as Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, and Allen Iverson, they haven’t won a championship since 1983.

3. New York Knicks

The Knicks are 244-miles away from Reston and are a four-hour car ride away. Their home court is located at the historic Madison Square Garden, which is a fun venue to explore. Like the Sixers, the Knicks have had superstar players such as Patrick Ewing and Carmelo Anthony, but have no recent championships. The last time the team hoisted up the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy was in 1973 when it was then referred to as the Walter A. Brown Championship Trophy.

4. Brooklyn Nets

While in New York City, Reston locals can also catch a Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center, which is only a few minutes away from Madison Square Garden. The Nets relocated from New Jersey in 2012 to become the second NBA team to call NYC home. But with plenty of avid Brooklyn fans, the team still gets first-class attention in its new city.

5. Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats

While all previous stadiums require Reston residents to drive north, you can also head six hours south to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit the Spectrum Center. The NBA’s Charlotte franchise has flip-flopped its name between the Hornets and Bobcats in recent years but maintains its fame thanks to the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan, who is the principal owner of the team. No matter what name they go by, Charlotte’s hometown team still plays a mean ballgame that’s exciting to watch.

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7 Exercises to Improve Your Basketball Skills

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Whether you’re a college athlete or a weekend warrior, strengthening the muscles you use for basketball can boost your performance as well as help prevent game-related injuries. For tips on how to workout when you’re not on the court, here are seven exercises to help improve your basketball skills.

1. Squat Jumps

Basketball requires a player to stay low and move forward, backward, and laterally while shooting and rebounding. To help improve this technique, try using squat jumps in your workout routine. To perform a squat jump, start with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, and your arms straight out in front of you. Then, slowly bend your knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Next, immediately jump as high as possible, moving your arms downward. Land with both feet on the ground and slowly lower yourself into another squat position before performing another jump.

2. Jump Rope

Jumping rope not only increases stamina and endurance during a game, but it also helps you to move quickly and stay agile while developing your ability to jump. And as long as you have a basic jump rope, you can perform this exercise anywhere from inside your home to a public park.

To be a good athlete on the court may require an investment in some off-the-court cross training.

To be a good athlete on the court may require an investment in some off-the-court cross training.

3. Linear or Lateral Lunges

Lunges can help open up hips, strengthen core muscles, and allow players to exert powerful moves out of a lowered stance. To perform linear or lateral lunges, stand with your feet together and step one foot forward about 2-3 feet for a linear lunge, or about 2-3 feet to the side for a lateral lunge. Then, squat down until both knees make a 90-degree angle. Stand back up, bring your foot back in, and repeat using the alternate foot or moving to the other side. You can perform the lunges with or without weights.

4. Military (Overhead) Press

The military (also known as overhead) press can help build strong shoulder muscles which are important for free throws, 3-point shots, and even cross-court “buzzer beaters.” To perform a military press, pick up a barbell, kettle bells, or free weights and hold them at shoulder level. Then, slowly push the weight(s) up over your head until your arms are extended, but not to the point of locking your elbows. Finally, slowly lower the weight(s) back to shoulder level and repeat.

5. Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are one of the best pieces of workout equipment for basketball players, especially since working with a medicine ball can mimic all of the natural movements and actions of working with a basketball. One exercise to try out consists of standing about 3-feet in front of a wall and tossing the ball explosively against the wall from chest level. You can repeat this several times and add a variation such as catching the ball and backpedaling about 20-feet before sprinting forward again and repeating.

Medicine balls are a great tool to build your strength for basketball.

Medicine balls are a great tool to build your strength for basketball.

6. Push-Ups

Push-ups can help strengthen the muscles used in passing a basketball from player to player and can develop shoulder strength that’s necessary for 3-pointers, free throws, and buzzer beaters. Just be sure that you’re using the correct form when performing this exercise.

7. Pull-Ups

Pull-ups can develop bicep and tricep strength while simultaneously working core muscles. While strong biceps and triceps are not a vital part of ball handling for basketball players, the resilience and flexibility in these muscle groups are essential. And since pull-ups can develop several muscles at the same time, it can be a better option for basketball players than weight training.

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5 Reasons to Sign Your Kids Up for a Basketball League

Reasons to Play Basketball

Joining a sports team can have many physical and psychological benefits for kids, including daily exercise, working for a common purpose, and learning discipline. While your child could join numerous sports, playing for a basketball league has plenty of perks that other activities may not. With that in mind, here are five reasons why you should sign your kids up for a basketball team today.

1. Cardiorespiratory Endurance

When children are conditioned to play basketball, they can run without feeling like they’re running. They can even upgrade their cardiorespiratory endurance without even realizing it, allowing them to burn calories, lower their blood pressure, and increase their lung capacity without overworking their bodies.

Basketball requires teamwork, which can lead to enhanced cooperation skills off the court too.

Basketball requires teamwork, which can lead to enhanced cooperation skills off the court too.

2. Muscle Development and Motor Skills

Shooting a basketball, especially from long range, can help your child build hard-to-develop muscles in their upper body, lower body, and can improve flexibility. Dribbling, pivoting, catching, and throwing are also skills that use all of the major muscle groups at the same time and can improve gross motor skills in young children. This can also fine-tune important motor skills such as eye-hand coordination, depth perception, and the ability to focus on two activities at once.

3. Teamwork and Socialization

Basketball relies heavily on constant communication with other team members, and if your child is having trouble making friends, joining a basketball team could help them improve their relationship skills with others. Each player tends to quickly learn how to show empathy and support for others as the team works towards a common goal. Understanding diversity is also a by-product of being a team member, and kids who are successful in this environment can adapt to and accept personal differences. And with constant problem solving and interaction, it’s a great way to socialize growing children and teens.

4. Coping Strategies

Sometimes no matter how hard you work, things don’t always go your way. And in the game of basketball, players tend to lose more often than win. By going through this process of failure in a game, kids can learn how to handle frustrations in real-life scenarios. Through basketball, they can learn positive behaviors when they experience setbacks and can also learn how to remain calm and in control of their emotions.

Doing well in basketball may instill great confidence in your youth.

Doing well in basketball may instill great confidence in your youth.

5. Self-Confidence

As your child practices their basketball skills, they can become more aware of how to use their strengths and improve on their weaknesses. They can learn how to identify a comfortable role on their team and take pride in performing it well. Each small success can give them a growing self-confidence that can lead to other achievements later on in life. And with a healthy self-esteem, children are more likely to thrive as they move into adulthood.

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