The Best Wilson Basketballs of 2024

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Wilson has taken over the responsibility of manufacturing the NBA’s official game balls after 37 years of Spalding partnership. The new ball was met with mixed reactions, but by now, the players and the people buying these official game balls have probably adjusted already. But aside from the official balls used by the NBA, are there other Wilson models worth trying out? This comprehensive product review on the best Wilson basketballs will answer that question and more.

Our Favorites for the Best Wilson BasketballsOur Favorites for the Best Wilson Basketballs

Contrary to what people may tell you, the ball quality matters. If anyone challenges that statement, put a high-quality basketball and a cheap one side by side, and anyone can readily see the difference. The Wilson basketballs you will find in this section are top-of-the-line, and you can tell just by looking at the price tag.

WILSON NBA Authentic Series Basketballs

The Authentic Series is basically the replica used in real NBA games, with the recognizable Wilson script and Adam Silver signature. The indoor/outdoor version, as the name suggests, may be used anywhere, whether you’re playing in clean, wood-tiled courts or the element-battered outdoors, this ball will never fail you.

The Indoor/Outdoor version of the Authentic Series basketball is made of Pure Feel Cover. Wilson isn’t about to share its trade secrets, but Pure Feel is an advanced material compound with a professional and consistent feel. It’s even better when used in outdoor courts without a massive dust pile-up, but if your outdoor court has dust, you will need to bring a towel to wipe it off.

What Makes the NBA Authentic Series Indoor/Outdoor Ball Unique:

While some users contend that the Authentic Series Indoor/Outdoor Ball was more suited for the outdoors, it is possibly due to its more rubbery feel. As previously mentioned, it may collect dust and turn it into a slippery mess. It also isn’t that good at absorbing sweat that drops all over it,  so a nice, clean towel is a must when playing with the Authentic Series Indoor/Outdoor Ball.

Why Choose the Authentic Series Indoor/Outdoor Ball:

  • Highly durable feel Pure Feel cover and should last a long time
  • Many users say it’s the best basketball they’ve played because it can handle rigid use.
  • Not made of leather, but has the feel of something really close to leather than most outdoor balls.

WILSON NBA Authentic Series Basketball - Indoor/Outdoor, Size 7 - 29.5"
  • Wilson NBA Authentic Series Basketball - Indoor/Outdoor, Size 7 - 29.5"
  • NBA OFFICIAL: Wilson is the official basketball of the NBA. This ball features official NBA branding coupled with the iconic Wilson script
  • PURE FEEL COVER: Pro-level feel and durability
  • EVER BOUNCE CONSTURCTION: Consistent bounce every time
  • AIR RETENTION: Inflation retention lining creats longer lasting air retention

Wilson Evolution Game Basketball

If you’re willing to pay a few more bucks and play mostly indoors, then the Wilson Evolution Basketball  is for you. You can now showcase your skills on the court thanks to the superior grip and feel of the best Wilson basketball indoor during your intense basketball practice session. 

Most players who almost exclusively play indoors love the feel of the ball, probably because of the signature EVO material. It feels soft to the touch and easy to handle with a single hand, especially around the rim. It’s the reason why most high school leagues in the country prefer the Wilson Evolution Game as their go-to indoor competition basketball.

What Makes Wilson Evolution Game Basketball Unique:

  • Optimized for indoor basketball play
  • Made from the patented Cushion Core Carcass material, preventing slippage and blisters on your hands
  • Accredited by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

As perfect as the Wilson Evolution sounds, it has its limitations. Because of its cover and material, it should only be strictly used indoors. Even then, you may come to realize it wears out faster than other balls you use. That said, it’s such a small price to pay for a premium ball that could take a young player’s game to the next level.

Why Choose the Evolution Game Basketball:

  • Will meet (and probably exceed) the standards of the choosiest bunch
  • Best for school-aged children so they won’t get frustrated with constant basketball slippage
  • The more you use it, the better its performance.

WILSON Evolution Game Basketball - Game Ball, Size 7 - 29.5"
  • When you focus on getting better, and not just on getting results, success takes care of itself. That is why the Wilson Evolution Game Ball is the preferred basketball in high schools across the country.
  • Signature EVO feel: the soft feel that the evolution basketball is famous for is due it’s cushion core carcass, making the ball softer to the touch and easier to grip around the rim
  • Grip & durability: the premium Evo microfiber composite cover provides a grip that players love and durability to last all-season and beyond
  • Ultimate control: laid-in composite channels create a consistent feel and texture over the entire surface of the basketball to provide unparalleled control
  • NFHS approved: approved for play by the national federation of state high school associations (NFHS)

The Runner-Ups for the Best Wilson BasketballsThe Runner-Ups for the Best Wilson Basketballs

Wilson NCAA Evo NXT

The Wilson NCAA Evo NXT is a damn good basketball, but it’s not for everybody. For the right hoopsters, it’s a favorite, but for some, it’s not; there is no middle ground. Therefore, its best place is here in the runners-up section. 

The best feature of this basketball is its great feel without being excessively tacky. That probably has to do with its materials and setup, which will be touched on in the section below. Some may not like its bright orange color, but to be honest, that’s not going to be a problem in the long run. 

What Makes Wilson NCAA Evo NXT Basketball Unique:

  • NCAA’s new official game ball and approved by the NFHS
  • The one and only fully composite ball on the market with laid-in channels.
  • The double-layered grip channels moisture away for maximum control.

On the other end of the spectrum, some people think they couldn’t understand the hype surrounding the NCAA Evo NXT. Others will probably say it’s not an upgrade over the original EVO. That said, no basketball is perfect, and the Wilson NCAA Basketball Evo NXT is no exception. Maybe it’s because of the added technology and double grip layers, which worked for some and flopped for others. 

Why Choose the Wilson NCAA Evo NXT Basketball:

  • Does not become too slippery over time
  • The ball’s texture makes it easier for players with smaller hands to control.
  • Almost no break-in time required as you may use it right out of the box.

WILSON NCAA Evo NXT Indoor Game Basketball - Size 7 - 29.5"
  • WILSON NCAA Evo NXT Indoor Game Basketball - Size 7 - 29.5"
  • Extended Range Tech: Optimally balanced, super soft core construction generates more spin with less effort at any range and a softer touch around the rim.
  • Micro-Touch Composite Leather: A Micro-Touch Cover provides an extra layer of grip and moisture management.
  • Super Soft Core: Extra cushioning allows your fingers to dig deeper into the surface for better control and a softer feel, helping every player find the shooters touch.
  • Composite Pebbled Channels: Composite channels are pebbled instead of smooth, creating a consistent texture over the entire surface of the ball for unparalleled control.

Wilson Reaction Pro Basketball

The Wilson Reaction Pro is not as popular as the other Wilson basketball on this list, but it’s worth a try if you’re looking for something different. However, the feel of this basketball is on its way to becoming a premium, but it just didn’t quite get there. The top layer is made of synthetic leather and the patented Cushion Core Carcass for maximum grip.

For some reason, the Reaction Pro has not had a United States sale yet on Amazon. One website noted that this basketball is the official game ball of England basketball, primarily used for U14 competitions. This is probably why the ball is the more popular choice in Europe.

What Makes the Wilson Reaction Pro Unique:

  • Holds air really well, requiring less pumping over time
  • Primarily designed for indoor use designed for indoor use, but many have used it outdoors without a problem

The people who have pulled the trigger on the Wilson Pro Reaction are on the fence about its grip. Some say it’s excellent, while others feel it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. One user also said the ball doesn’t feel like the regulation weight, but it may be due to other unknown factors.

Why Choose the Wilson Reaction Pro Basketball:

  • Another indoor/outdoor option, but cheaper than the Authentic Series
  • The top layer absorbs moisture to prevent slippage.

WILSON Men's Reaction Pro Basketball, Brown, 7
  • Classic basketball in size 7 for adults and youth 12 years and older, suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Durable composite material for optimal grip and good ball control
  • Improved grip thanks to moisture-absorbing top layer made of synthetic leather, cushion core carcass for optimum grip without slippage
  • Easy and fast inflation with ball pump (sold separately)
  • Contents: One Wilson basketball, Reaction Pro, indoor/outdoor, material: Synthetic Leather, size: 7 Inch, weight: Approximately 610 g, colour: Orange, WTB10137XB07

The Value Picks for the Best Wilson BasketballsThe Value Picks for the Best Wilson Basketballs

If you’re not an advanced player yet or don’t have a decent basketball court to play on, the practical way is to choose something that fits your budget. It’s also not a bad idea for parents to introduce basketball to their kids using a cheaper but quality ball. These things considered, here are the best Wilson basketballs if you’re looking for the bang for your buck.

Wilson NBA DRV Pro Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

Nobody but Wilson knows what DRV means, but who cares? It’s a high-quality ball built to withstand the rigors of outdoor basketball. And at its price point, it’s probably the best anyone can get. 

The DRV Pro, like other outdoor balls, is made of rubber. This is to make sure the ball is durable, but don’t expect its softness to be of the same level as the composite leather ball. Unlike your average rubber ball, though, including the original DRV, the Pro version has an upgraded “tackskin” cover that is slightly softer to the touch and easier to grip.

What Makes the Wilson DRV Pro Unique:

  • The grip is way better than other balls of similar prices.
  • The NBA branding, with the logo and all, definitely doesn’t hurt.
  • Has a reliable and consistent bounce

If you’re already used to using a softer basketball, your hand may complain a bit. Some say the ball loses its grip after a while, but it ultimately depends on how often you use the ball and under what conditions. It’s not a cheap knockoff, it’s better than that, but it’s not a top-quality ball, either. Temper your expectations!

Why Choose the Wilson NBA DRV Pro:

WILSON NBA DRV Pro Streak Outdoor Basketball - Size 7-29.5", Blue/Orange
  • Wilson NBA DRV Pro Streak Outdoor Basketball - Size 7 - 29.5", Blue/Orange
  • TACKSKIN COVER: Get ultimate grip in any weather with a new cushioning layer; AIR RETENTION: Long-lasting air retention provided by a specialized inflation-retention lining
  • OUTDOOR DURABILITY: Designed for ultimate domination on outdoor playing surfaces; NBA PRO SEAMS: Suited to player preference with a new channel construction
  • NBA OFFICIAL: Features official NBA branding and Wilson script. Wilson provides the official basketball of the NBA.
  • SPACE-INSPIRED GRAPHICS: The graphics on this ball are inspired by an asteroid flying through the night sky

Wilson NBA Forge Basketball

The Wilson NBA Forge Basketball is a value option as an indoor/outdoor ball. However, don’t get confused with all its surnames– Pro, Plus, and Plus Eco. The cheapest of the bunch is the one that doesn’t have a last name.

Here’s the deal: If you’re using cheap balls all your life and compare it with the Wilson NBA Forge, the difference is night and day. It just bounces and feels better, but of course, not on the level of the other higher-priced Molten models. The Forge is a total value at its price!

What Makes the Wilson NBA Forge Unique:

  • It uses a butyl bladder filling rather than a rubber or latex bladder for superior air retention.
  • Holds up really well in most weather conditions
  • At this price point, synthetic leather is a total value.

The only weather you shouldn’t use the Forge is a cold outdoor climate. This is because it could lose a bit of its grip. Besides that (and a slight discoloration over time), the Wilson NBA Forge is among the best Wilson basketballs. Somebody actually measured the ball’s circumference and confirmed it’s a bit smaller than other Wilsons. That said, it should be fine if it’s primarily used as a recreational ball.

Why Choose the Wilson NBA Forge:

  • Designed for outdoor use but can also hold its own on indoor play.
  • Looks more like a professional-quality ball than a cheaper one.

WILSON NBA Forge Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball - Forge, Brown, Size 7 - 29.5"
  • Wilson NBA Forge Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball - Forge, Brown, Size 7 - 29.5"
  • NBA OFFICIAL: Wilson is the official basketball of the NBA. This ball features official NBA branding coupled with the iconic Wilson script
  • PURE FEEL COVER: Pro-level feel and durability
  • AIR RETENTION: Inflation retention lining creats longer lasting air retention
  • NBA PRO SEAMS: New channel construction suited to player preference

How to Choose the Best Wilson Basketballs for YouHow to Choose the Best Wilson Basketballs for You?

As the saying goes, it’s different strokes for different folks. The same thing with choosing a basketball. If you want to be sure which Wilson basketball is appropriate for your needs, here are some things to consider.

  • Material

Unless you’re a pro-level player or someone with extra money, genuine leather is out of the question. If you’re playing primarily indoors, you must look at composite leather balls such as the Wilson NCAA basketball. Otherwise, a rubber ball is your go-to when mainly playing outdoors.

  • Durability

The rule of thumb is the cheaper the ball, the less durable it is. More expensive basketballs are made with sturdier materials, but how you use them is also a factor.

  • Budget

The good news about Wilson basketballs is the different price points that you may choose from. If you or someone you know is pretty serious about improving and has the means to buy a more expensive ball, you’re probably better off with the higher-end models. Otherwise, while nothing special, the cheaper ones also get the job done.

  • Grip and Special Features

Usually, how grippy and densely-featured the basketball is is tied directly to its price. For example, the NCAA Evo Nxt has pebbled channels and feels super soft, and its cost is at the higher end of the spectrum. However, if you don’t need them, it doesn’t make sense to shed extra dollars.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Wilson Basketballs

Wilson is a trusted name among ball manufacturers and has been so for over 100 years. The company has recently linked up with the NBA again, adding to its already extensive portfolio that includes the NCAA and the NFHS. With these considered, what are the best Wilson basketballs to choose from?

Well, aside from the NBA game balls, the Authentic Series comes the closest to a perfect basketball experience. The Wilson Evolution has always been a classic favorite for many basketball players across different levels. These are the favorites among the bunch.

Next to these two, the NCAA Evo NXT has a track record of excellence, while the Wilson Reaction Pro is a popular choice in Europe, especially in England. Rounding out the choices as the value options are the DRV Pro and Wilson NBA Forge . These basketball have different features and price points, but you can be sure these are the best Wilson basketballs available today.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other basketball gear reviews here:

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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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