How Far Is the 3 Point Line From The Hoop? Explained

A basketball player can score three-point shots if the athlete is outside the 3-point line upon making the successful shot. This shot can be quite difficult, especially if you consider the distance from the line to the hoop. With that in mind, how far is the 3-point line from the basketball hoop?

The distance from the 3-point line to the hoop depends on the levels of play. The distance is 23.75 feet for NBA courts. FIBA and WNBA courts have a slightly shorter distance at 22.15 feet. NCAA courts have a 20.75 feet distance from their basketball hoops to the 3-point line. Finally, high school and junior high school courts have their basketball hoops and 3-point lines 19.75 feet apart.

In this article, you’ll find more information about the distances between 3-point lines and basketball hoops. Additionally, you’ll learn about the history of this line and other relevant information about this border.

3 point line from the hoop

The clock is ticking as the home team lacks two points to promote overtime with the away team. There are 10 seconds left on the clock and the stakes are high. One player decides to go all out, thinking that it’s all or nothing. He runs beyond the 3-point line and attempts the shot. The ball goes in the hoop and the crowd goes wild.

For several decades, the 3-point line shaped and changed different basketball games. Shooting beyond this border and making the shot deserves loud applause and cheers from the crowd. The distance from the player attempting the three-point shot to the hoop is fairly far, promoting a ‘high-risk, high reward’ scenario. This challenging feat makes it more appealing to accomplish.

But how did this 3-point line started?

The early stages of the NBA didn’t have the 3-point line. It was only during the NBA-ABA merger in 1976 that the 3-point line surfaced in official NBA matches.

However, the earliest recorded use of the 3-point line was in 1961. It was an American Basketball League experiment and only lasted two seasons.

At first, the idea didn’t move forward. After those two seasons, the 3-point line idea went back to the drawing board. Nonetheless, the concept remained. Therefore, the merging of the two associations in 1976 reintroduced the line, but it wasn’t until the 1979 to 1980 season when the world saw the first use of the line to make a three-point shot.

3 Point Line Length from Hoop in High School and College Basketball

As mentioned previously, the 3-point line differs for each basketball level. Courts officiated by the NCAA, high school, and junior high schools have different distances between their courts’ 3-point lines and basketball hoops.

Courts at the NCAA level have their 3-point lines and basketball hoops at 20.75 feet apart. On the other hand, high school and junior high school courts have their 3-point lines 19.75 feet away from their hoops.

Also, please note that the distance remains, regardless if the association is for men or women. In other words, women’s college basketball will still use the same court as the men’s.

What is the Farthest Three-Point Shot Achieved in the NBA?

It’s already difficult to try and shoot from over 20 feet away from the basketball hoop. But imagine attempting a three-point shot from over 70 feet away. Plus, the ball managed to go through the hoop.

This event happened in 2016 when Stephen Curry attempted to do a three-point shot from within the other side of the court. Unfortunately, the shot made by the Golden State Warriors player didn’t count. But it did give the crowd something to enjoy while watching.

Curry’s long three-point game didn’t end in that event. In 2019, he attempted a buzzer-beating shot from the opposite side of the court. It was the end of the 1st half with the Warriors behind by three points. In a last-ditch effort, Curry flung the basketball to the basket and the attempt was successful. The shot counted, tying the Warriors with the Spurs.

Who are the Best Three-Point NBA Players?

Three-point shooting is a class of its own because of the difficulty of the shot. Some NBA players like to play it safe by attempting shots as close to the net as possible. However, the following NBA players think otherwise as these professional basketball athletes have achieved several points for their teams because of their three-point attempts.

1. Stephen Curry

At the time of writing, Stephen Curry has an 8.4 three-point average across 12 seasons during his professional basketball career. Although his free-throw game is higher than his average three-point score, many fans still hail Curry as one of the kings, if not the king of the three-point shot.

2. James Harden

If you would think about James Harden, the first image that pops into mind wouldn’t be his three-point score average but his beard. Nonetheless, this shooting guard for the Brooklyn Nets (along with two other teams across his NBA career) has an average of 7.7 points scored for his three-point shots.

However, Harden is a master dribbler on the court as his plays create many opportunities for his teammates. Aside from being an excellent three-pointer, this NBA player also makes great assists that it even earned him a two-time league leader in that category during his 13-year career.

3. Joe Ingles

Joe Ingles plays for the Utah Jazz and is quite new to the professional basketball scene. He debuted in the 2014 to 2015 season as a small forward and has been quite proficient with blocking his opponents’ shots.

His tall stature doesn’t only make Ingles a well-performing blocker but also a great three-point shooter. At the time of writing, Ingles has an average of 4.3 successful three-point shots. Although this figure is fairly low in comparison with Curry or Harden, that number is still nothing to laugh at.

Final Words

The distance of the 3-point line from the hoop varies for each basketball level. Therefore, the distance between these two points in the NBA is different when looking at the courts from the college and high school levels.

Basketball players attempting to score beyond the 3-point line will be awarded much praise when the ball goes through the hoop. The difficulty of the three-point shot makes the challenge worthwhile, and it’s that adornment that some NBA players desire for each match.

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