What is the Post in Basketball? | Position Explained!


There are 5 positions in basketball each of which seems to have multiple names for each position. This can sometimes leave the average fan confused about terms and their meanings.

What is the post in basketball? The post in basketball refers to the same position as the center or power forward would play, it is a general term that identifies the player playing underneath the basket to rebound, post up offensively and defensively for their team. The term is used in high school and college basketball as an easy way for the coach to direct the players on the court when running plays and discussing strategy.

The post position is very important and will interchange between the power forward and center position. Playing the post position is an important role on the court while running offensive plays it is an easy way for the coach to indicate where players need to be.

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Low Post Position

The low post position is located on the black where the thick rectangle square just outside the free-throw line a few feet away from the basket both on the left and right-hand side. Generally, this is where centers, power forwards position themselves to receive a pass down low to gain an advantage in trying to score with their back facing the basket.

You might be thinking why would you want to try and score with your back against the basket, the truth of the matter is you protect the basketball and gain more leverage to get to the spot you want near the basket to increase your chances of making a basket.

High Post Position

The high post position is located at the top of the free-throw line and the foul line 12 to 15 feet out, foul line extended. The high post position spreads the defense out and creates balance with the other players on the floor on offense. It is also used during zones in which the entry past will be fed to the high post to allow the defenders to collapse on the high post player while he looks to break the zone with a pass facing the basket.

The high post is played well with players who can shoot the outside shot as this player is a threat while also able to penetrate to the basket. While the center can switch off with the power forward generally the power forward will play this position more so then the center.

Why is it called the post position in basketball?

No one knows exactly where it comes from though we could speculate that it refers to a player just like a soldier manning the security post or look outpost in a war or battle.

The post position is an important position in basketball but was much more a prominent position in which teams would center their star player in the post in order to win games. Now that basketball is more of a guard game it just seems that the post position is much less prevalent and not as popular to the fans.

The center position is slowly diminishing away with the fast pace game we see in the NBA and the outside shooting of basketball players of all shapes and sizes. It just seems that players are getting bigger and much more skilled playing positions that they should not be playing when those positions were for players based on height requirements. Such as a 6’11 player who we usually see playing center is now playing the small forward position.

Not the case anymore, as the NBA and basketball have been evolving into a game of outside shooters and unbelievable fundamentals. The days of being just tall are all over.



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