When you hear people referring to basketball “fundamentals”, they are talking about the under pinning of every play and every move a player makes. Great players have mastered the fundamentals of the game.
Why does our program focus so intently on ball handling?
Ball Handling is under-rated as a fundamental and as a result there are very few formal training programs that exist to help athletes develop that aspect of their game. However, becoming a better ball handler will make you better at most other aspects of the game. A proficient ball handler is a greater threat and demands more respect from defenders on the court. When a player does not have to concentrate on dribbling, they are free to think more strategically about shooting, passing, and what to do with that rebound they just secured.
Yes, the point guard should be a master at ball handling, but a center who is a proficient ball handler creates new options and opportunities for the team, and basketball is a team sport. A proficient ball handler might even pull in a second defender (double team) which means now there is an open man on the court. Rather than trying to beat your defender(s) individually, hit the open man and good things can happen. Especially, if that open man is also a proficient ball handler.
To become a proficient ball handler, a player must always remember dribbling is a means to an end, not the end itself. That means the dribbler objective is not to dribble, it’s to advance the ball with the team and score. Great players don't waste time dribbling if there is an open teammate or a shot available.
One thing is sure, you can’t be a great basketball player if you can’t dribble.