A smiling NBA ball boy holding a basketball

If you’re passionate about basketball and dream of working close to the action, becoming an NBA ball boy (also known as a team attendant) might be the perfect opportunity for you. This role offers a unique chance to be part of the game you love while gaining invaluable experience and insights into the professional sports world.

Understanding the Role of an NBA Ball Boy

NBA ball boys have a variety of responsibilities that span pre-game, in-game, and post-game activities. Here’s a detailed look at what the job entails:


  • Arrive at the arena about three hours before tip-off.
  • Help set up the locker room and unload team luggage.
  • Run errands for players, such as grabbing food or making ice packs.
  • Assist during shootaround by rebounding for players and coaches.


  • Stay on the sidelines, ready to hand out towels, water, and uniforms.
  • Mop the court to ensure it remains dry and safe.
  • Collect warm-up gear and other equipment as players check into the game.


  • Collect uniforms, shoes, and other equipment.
  • Tidy up the locker room and showers (though not cleaning in the traditional sense).
  • Ensure all equipment is properly stored and ready for the next game.

4 Steps to Become an NBA Ball Boy

Icon of a person running towards a goal

Becoming an NBA ball boy is a dream for many young basketball enthusiasts, providing a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the game they love. Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate the steps to becoming an NBA ball boy:

1. Build Connections

Networking is crucial in landing a ball boy position. Many current ball boys have secured their roles through connections with team staff, former ball boys, or even family and friends with ties to the organization. For instance, Jon Stoddard, a former ball boy for the Utah Jazz, got his position through a former schoolmate.

Here are some strategies to build connections:

  • Attend local basketball events and NBA games: Engage with team staff and introduce yourself to equipment managers or training staff members. Building rapport with these individuals can open up opportunities.
  • Leverage social media: Follow and interact with team staff and former ball boys on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Make your interest known and ask for advice.
  • Volunteer: Offer to help at local basketball camps, clinics, or minor league games. Networking in these settings can lead to valuable introductions.

Approximately 60-70% of ball boys get their roles through some form of personal connection.

2. Look for Openings

Some NBA teams periodically open applications for ball boy positions, especially targeting high school students.

Here are some steps to find these openings:

  • Regularly check NBA team websites: Teams like the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors have previously posted ball boy positions on their career pages.
  • Contact the team’s front office: Call or email the front office and express your interest. Ask if they have any upcoming openings or if you can be added to a waitlist.
  • Monitor social media: Teams sometimes announce openings on platforms like Twitter. Set up alerts to stay informed.
  • Utilize sports job boards: Websites like JobsinSports.com often list openings for various sports-related positions, including NBA ball boys. Consider getting a membership.

On average, only about 5-10 positions might open up each season across the entire league, making it highly competitive.

3. Demonstrate Your Passion and Work Ethic

Teams often look for candidates who are passionate about basketball but also reliable and hardworking.

Here are ways to showcase your passion and work ethic:

  • Maintain good academic standing: Typically, a minimum of a C grade average is required. The higher your grades, the better your chances.
  • Get involved in school sports: Participation in school sports teams or clubs can demonstrate your commitment and teamwork skills.
  • Write a compelling application: Some teams require a letter of interest. Highlight your passion for basketball, relevant experiences, and why you want to be a ball boy. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers have previously asked for such letters.
  • Volunteer: Show initiative by volunteering at local basketball events or community centers, which can strongly indicate your dedication.

Showing initiative and reliability is key. Teams want ball boys who can handle the job’s demands and be trusted to perform without constant supervision.

4. Be Prepared for the Commitment

The role of an NBA ball boy requires a significant time commitment.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Time investment: Ball boys typically spend 6-8 hours at the arena on game days, including pre-game preparations, in-game duties, and post-game clean-up.
  • Availability: You need to be available for home games, which often occur in the evenings and on weekends. Some teams might also require attendance at practices or other events.
  • Physical demands: Tasks include mopping floors, rebounding during shootarounds, and handling equipment. Ensure you are physically fit and prepared for these duties.
  • Unpredictable schedule: Be prepared for last-minute changes or extended hours, especially during playoffs or special events.

It’s essential to be prepared for the physical and time demands of the job, including tasks like mopping floors, rebounding during shootarounds, and handling equipment.

By following these steps and demonstrating your dedication, you can significantly increase your chances of becoming an NBA ball boy and gain invaluable experience in the world of professional basketball.

How Much Do NBA Ball Boys Make?

NBA ball boys typically earn an hourly wage, which can be quite modest. The base pay usually aligns with the minimum wage or slightly above.

Minimum Wage: In many cases, ball boys are paid at or near the state or federal minimum wage, which ranges from $7.25 to $15 per hour, depending on the location.

Additional Benefits

Beyond their hourly wage, NBA ball boys often receive additional forms of compensation that enhance the overall value of their role:

  • Game Tickets: Many teams provide ball boys with free game tickets, which they can use or distribute to family and friends. This perk can be particularly valuable given the high cost of NBA game tickets.
  • Merchandise and Gear: Ball boys often receive team merchandise, such as jerseys, hats, and other apparel. These items can be either part of their uniform or additional perks.
  • Food and Beverages: During game days, ball boys may be provided with meals and snacks, reducing their personal expenses.
  • Player Tips: It is not uncommon for NBA players to tip ball boys, especially when they assist with personal requests or errands. These tips can significantly supplement their income, with players sometimes giving substantial amounts due to their high salaries​.

The Rewards of the Job

For those looking to learn how to become an NBA ball boy, consider utilizing Jobs in Sports. Our platform offers a comprehensive list of sports job openings, including those for NBA ball boys. Jobs in Sports provides both free and paid membership options, with the paid membership granting access to premium features such as detailed job listings and resume postings to potential employers. For more information and to explore membership options, visit our membership subscription page.

By following these steps and leveraging resources like Jobs in Sports, you can turn your passion for basketball into an invaluable experience and possibly a career in the sports industry. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of the game you love—start your journey today!