A lot has changed since the glass-raining days, when a slam could shatter the backboard or break a player’s wrist. Petroleum-based plexiglass keeps the “glass” from shattering, while the steel breakaway rim allows players to exert hundreds of pounds of pressure without damaging themselves or the goal. This would never be possible without blast furnace-fueling natural gas, and the petroleum used to transport it from raw material to tip‑off.
With its 100% polyester fiber construction and polypropylene support at the tips, it’s fair to say the official anti-whip net currently used in 30 pro arenas is nothin’ but petroleum byproducts. And the scissors used to cut it down after a big win? Well, they’re the byproducts of oil & natural gas, as well.
Your favorite player can go from top scorer to injured reserve pretty quickly. The petroleum-based molded urethane foam found on the base and backboard help to protect these athletes when things get rough.
In the early 1980s, after decades of heavy cotton, polyester and satin, a petroleum-based polycotton blend became the new standard in basketball uniforms. Advances in petroleum polymers keep athletes cool and dry while oil and natural gas continue to change the game for America’s energy future.
Besides the full-grain leather basketballs used in official NBA and NCAA games, today’s basketball is derived almost completely from petroleum byproducts. From the butyl rubber bladder that maintains necessary air pressure inside the ball, to the synthetic fiber core and nylon and polyester seams that protect and stitch the ball together, each component is a direct result of petroleum-refining processes.
No matter how big – think Shaq’s size 22 feet – or small, all basketball shoes share a common origin in petroleum. And just as synthetic rubber soles, nylon laces and plastic polymer moldings give players superior traction, American oil and natural gas keeps our nation on a firm footing.
The familiar squeak of sneakers on polyurethane-treated courts instantly gets us ready for basketball season. This petroleum-based coating is high-gloss, durable and gives athletes the traction they need to make big moves during the game. The paint used on your team’s center-court logo – and to show the athletes where they can shoot that three – is also manufactured from petrochemicals.
Select an item to discover how one of America's favorite games depends on products derived from petroleum.