Wing Position in Basketball: Wing Court and Position Overview [2 in 1 Guide]

Morgan Wolf

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Wing Position in Basketball

“Wing players are like the glue that holds the team together. They can connect the inside and outside games and create opportunities for everyone.” – Scottie Pippen

We believe there’s a lot to learn in basketball. 

For a regular viewer of the sport and you still don’t know about the wing position in basketball, it’s going to be a tough time on the court for you.

And in case you are a wannabe basketball player who wants to learn the wing position, we are all here for you. 

Read our article till the end and learn the ins and outs of the most popular and effective position in basketball – the wing position

What is Wing Position in Basketball?  

Don’t get us wrong but if you are here for a chicken wing barbeque in basketball, we are going to disappoint you a bit.
The wing position in basketball has nothing to do with any of the things mentioned above. Rather, it refers to a specific location on the court, and sometimes one kind of player’s position. 

In short, the term wing has two meanings in basketball. (1) – a type of player position, (2) specific areas of the basketball court.  

In detail,  

The wing, on the court, is the area between the free throw line extended and the sideline, particularly the outer zone along the sideline. When it’s to the player’s position, wing refers to the shooting guard and small forward.  

Where Is the Wing in A Basketball Court? 

What Are the Strong and Weak Side Wings

As mentioned earlier, there are two meanings of wing in a basketball. First, we will begin with the wing area in the court.  But before we do, here are some common terminology for you to get along. 

Free Throw Line Extended

In basketball, the free throw line extended is an imaginary line on the court. It extends from the free-throw line to the sideline, in parallel with the baseline (endline).  

It is often useful to apply and determine specific rules and violations of the play. Officials also use this area to assign both offensive and defensive players. 

Note that, free throw lines are the foul lines of basketball. Players shoot free throws from the free-throw line when specific fouls take place by the opposing team. 

Outlet Pass

An outlet pass in basketball is when a defensive player rebounds the ball and passes to one of his teammates, the ball moves up the floor along with the player who is getting into offense. 

The outlet pass is useful because players use the pass to create scoring opportunities for the transition offense. Learn more about rebounding here.

Power Forward

Another traditional position in basketball is “Power Forward”, often known as the four. Power forwards are responsible for versatile roles and drive the success of their team. In position, they stand between the small forwards (SF) and the center (C). 

Wing Court Area in Basketball

In terms of the zone, the wing area in basketball refers to the side of the paint near the free throw line extended. It spreads from one baseline to another. Keep it in your mind! The court center circle, paint, or point doesn’t involve the wings. 

The wing area is divided into two parts – ball side/ strong side wings and weak side wings. Later, we will learn about the two sides in detail.

The wings are used to take different kinds of shots. The most common one happens when a player gets the ball passed at the top of the key, or inside.

Thus, this area has become a common zone for outlet passes. Because the middle of the court is often overflowed with players, wings are the potential zone for outlet passes while you are going up the court.   

Types of Wing: Traditional vs. Full-Court Wing

Generally, there are two areas on the court, we call the wings – The traditional wing and the full-court wing.  

Both of them are right in perspective and views. But they are also the reason why, so many of us still get in confusion. Let’s discuss them a bit. 

In the court, the full-court wing refers to the area outside the paint. It extends between the baselines (from one baseline to baseline) of a basketball court and is located on the court’s outer edges along the sidelines. 

On the other hand, the traditional wing in basketball has a more spectacular approach. Imagine a large circle covering the three-point line below the free-throw line.  

Wing players stay in the two areas mentioned above. They can either, follow the full court zone or the traditional wing in basketball.  

However, mark that, traditional wings are usually the team’s major scoring option, if not the top scorer. 

What Are the Strong and Weak Side Wings? 

What Are the Strong and Weak Side Wings

Frontcourt and traditional wings are two types of wings in basketball. But, the strong and weak are more likely involved with the two sides of the wings. 

When a coach calls a play in which the point guard plays offensive and on the left side of the floor, the left side of the court, then becomes the strong side of the wing.  

The strong side wing is on the same side of the court, where you find the ball handler. A strong side ball screen, for example, can be called out by a coach. Learn more about Screening in Basketball

On defense, the strong side wing is responsible for defending the player on the strong side of the court, i.e. often near the ball.

The weak side, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. 

The weak side wing is exactly the opposite of the side of the court where the ball is found. At the moment of setting up the play (by the offense), the weak side wing is decided away from the ball handler.  

Think of it like that, when an offensive player in the frontcourt earns possession of the ball and then passes it to another offensive player on the right side wing, the left side of the court is now the weak side.

The task is quite similar for the defense on the weak side wing. Weak-side defensive players will help their teammates defend the basket and offer support on the strong side. 

Wing Position Player in Basketball  

The wing position is a combination of different positions. Initially, there are two positions involved – (1) Small Forward and (2) Shooting Guard. 

Believe it or not! A wing player is engaged in both offensive and defensive roles, and can comparatively score more for their team. 

Thus, a player who is able to play both as a small forward and a shooting guard is ideally known as a wing player. 

Small Forward (SF)

The Basketball Small forward typically plays on the wings. Small forwards play different roles both on offense and defense and take positions between the shooting guard (SG) and power forward (PF). 

Small forwards are best known for their higher efficiency to shoot from the perimeter, drive to the basket, or defend multiple positions.

Players like LeBron James or, Larry Bird are small forward players highly known for their productive score ability, athletics, and defensive skills. 

Shooting Guard (SG)

Another position player on the wing is the shooting guard. Shooting guards stand next to the power forwards. They are more effective when it comes to shooting from the outside. 

Who can you appoint as shooting guards? 

Players who excel at three-point shooting are the right ones for this role. Because they play outside of an offense, near the half-court line, beside the point guard. 

It is ideal and more convenient for them to attempt three-point shoots from where they are. Plus, they can also move the ball up to the court.  

So, shooting guards and small forwards are the wing players of basketball. The expectation is often high from the wings. There is a common theory that wing players should be so strong that they can stop even the finest shooters and scorers. 

Draymond Green and Giannis Antetokoumpo are two excellent wing defenders of today. They are mostly known for their key scoring features and leading scores. 

Other significant wing players are Magic Johnson, Steph Curry, and Chris Paul. They all have achievements (either in NBA or the All-Star game) throughout their career. 

How to Become A Good Wing Player? 

Before we answer that, it’s important to know why you want to become a wing player. Are you suitable to become one? 

Being a wing player requires you to have good shooting skills, better footwork, and athleticism, and sometimes you also have to be a good rebounder also.  

Throwback to the past, and you will have players like Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry, and others who excelled at free throws.

To become a good wing player, you need to practice hard and turn the wing drills into a part of your regular training session.  Remember, failure is only the pillar of success.  

Here are some quick tips for you to become a potential wing player, 

Excellent Shooting

Practice hard to become the top shooter on your team. Mark that, being a wing player also requires you to effectively shoot behind the three-point lines.  

Control the Ball

Don’t forget about the ball. You need to control the ball well to create more shot opportunities and also learn to secure the ball well under well-defensive pressure. 

Fake Shot

It is one of the trickiest moves in the game. When a player in possession of the ball targets one player and convinces the opponent that he is about to throw the ball to him, but in real, he throws it to another player.
Master the trick to grab as many hidden scoring opportunities as you can. 

Improved Footwork

Work on your footwork. Remember that pivot moves are the essentials of basketball. Also, master quick changes of direction driving to the basket, or making cuts on offense.

Hone Your IQ

The wing player, especially the small forward player is considered the leader of your team. They often need to do the math in their head to drive the right decision. Thus, sharpen your perception and problem-solving qualities if you want to become an SF. 

Be Defensive

Focus on your defensive skills. Remember, you have to stay in front of your opponents and focus on on-ball defense, and lateral movements, and also help your team defend at different points. 


It is an essential term in basketball. You have to become a good rebounder in order to become a good wing player. Start by developing the ability to grab rebounds, both offensively and defensively. 

Solid Passing

The most crucial element of basketball is passing. Make precise and timely passes to your teammates, and create more scoring opportunities. All by learning the fundamentals of passing in basketball

Here are some of the core skills you need to develop to become a good wing player. It doesn’t happen in one or two attempts. Practice hard and take help from your coach and teammates in case you need to. 

Learn More About Basketball

Basketball is a sport of thrill and excitement. If you start to learn, it will be hard for you to reach an endpoint. But don’t worry, we are here to guide you. 

The wing position in basketball is not about just scoring above the rim. This particular position can also improve your team’s performance and spirit of play. At some point, it may seem hard to nail the wing position. But with lots of practice, there’s nothing you can’t do in basketball.

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Morgan Wolf

Journalist with experience covering the intersection of sports with business. Demonstrated expertise in digital, video and social media content covering major sports including soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB, tennis and Olympic sports. But basketball is his passion. Specialties: expert for sports related content management LinkedIn