The adolescent basketball player: the importance of some anthropometric characteristics for speed, resistance, power and agility

Given the paucity of data in relevant literature on the relationships existing between anthropometry and performance in adolescent basketball players (BP), we investigated on 64 adolescent BP aged 13/17 years old belonging to two provincial and élite Italian teams. They were subdivided into under-14 (U-14) and under-17 (U-17) subjects. Body composition and somatotypes were ascertained, together with speed, resistance, power and agility tests. In both U-14 élite and province sub-groups differences emerged for most of the parameters considered, while the U-17 sub-groups did not display a similar neat differentiation. Age appeared to be positively correlated with the athletic tests; stature positively correlated with VO2 max and speed tests but negatively with agility, while weight appeared not to influence the tests. Skinfolds resulted to be negatively correlated with VO2 max and jumps, but positively with speed and agility. Fat mass resulted to be positively correlated with speed and agility and negatively with jumps. Body density appeared to be positively correlated with jumps and resistance and negatively with VO2 max, speed and agility. As the latter aspect (together with strength and power) appears to be an important predictor for success in BP performance, the present small investigation should be improved and more accurately verified.