ball handler


: a player who controls the ball in any of various games
especially : a player who is skilled at handling the ball (as in basketball)
ˈbȯl-ˌhan(d)-liŋ How to pronounce ball handler (audio)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web She was ruled out three to six weeks, leaving UConn with just one experienced ball handler: point guard Nika Mühl. Lila Bromberg, Hartford Courant, 1 Jan. 2023 Who expected a last-minute Kristaps Porzingis deal at the deadline last February, ushering in Spencer Dinwiddie as another ball handler, Davis Bertans as a spot shooter and, most notably, improved financial flexibility to essentially split Porzingis’ max contract in half for future maneuvers? Dallas News, 2 Jan. 2023 The Cavaliers also expect a big boost from Georgetown transfer Dante Harris, who joined the team in January and could bring more offensive punch as the primary ball handler. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2023 Yale pledge Samson Aletan, a 6-10 center, and senior guard Quinton Perkins give Lake Highlands a veteran ball handler. Dallas News, 7 Nov. 2022 Consistently blitzing the ball handler and expecting strong rotations in recovery isn't a perfect recipe for success, either, especially for this young Rockets' squad. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 1 Mar. 2023 The Lakers badly missed Russell’s shooting and playmaking, with Dennis Schroder left as the primary ball handler, playing after injuring an ankle while being hounded by Jaden McDaniels — one of the best defenders in the NBA. Staff Writer Follow, Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2023 Moore-McNeil scored 14 points and made four 3-pointers, continuing her rise from a point guard who contributed mainly as a ball handler and on defense to a threat from deep. Wilson Moore, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Feb. 2023 With those departures, Arvallo has stepped into the spotlight as their primary ball handler and scorer who matches strong perimeter shooting with craftiness inside. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 15 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ball handler.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1912, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ball handler was in 1912

Dictionary Entries Near ball handler

Cite this Entry

“Ball handler.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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