Basketball Drill: Five-Star Passing Drill

Build your team chemistry, communication, and passing skills with this fast-paced, team-building exercise.

Build your team chemistry, communication, and passing skills with this fast-paced, team-building exercise.

There’s no room for error in your game. When the pressure is on and the defense is all over you, you need to be able to get the ball to your teammate ­– fast. The Five-Star Passing drill from basketball camp director and college coach Donnie Arey can help you build the skills you need to make it happen.

It takes five players to set up the drill. Arrange yourselves in the shape of a star, each of you standing at one of the points, and number off.

The point farthest to the right is Player 1.

Directly across on the left is Player 2.

Diagonally across from that on the lower right is Player 3.

The peak of the star at the top is Player 4.

The lower left-hand point is Player 5.

Now that everyone has their number and their starting place, it’s time to switch things up.


The first way to practice this drill is the simplest. Start the ball with Player 1. Each time the drill is performed, Player 1 will pass the ball to Player 2 and run to their space on the star. Player 2 passes to Player 3 and takes their spot, and so on and so forth. When Player 5 has the ball, he or she will pass to Player 1 to keep the drill going. It might take you a few rounds to get into the rhythm of the rotation, but once you do you have a golden opportunity to build chemistry with your team while honing your ball skills.


To take the drill to the next level, Arey adds a move before each pass. Chose any move you want, but remember that this is a good chance for you to get out of your comfort zone. Try something new, use the player coming at you as a potential closeout defender and build an arsenal of moves you can unleash on the court.

Keep the chemistry going by adding a dribble handoff into the mix. Give a nice clean handoff without bumping into the player you’re working with. Use your body to shield the ball of an imaginary defender without colliding with your teammate, Arey says, and you’ll be practicing a simple but important strategy of the game.


For the most challenging iteration of the Five-Star Passing drill, grab another teammate and have them play defender. The defender will stand in the center of the star formation, doing their best to get a deflection or a steal. You have to think on your feet to get the ball to the teammate you’re passing it to without the defender’s interference. This exercise combines all of the skills you worked on in the beginner and intermediate versions of the drill. Put them to good use next time you’re up against a tough defender during a game. This is also a good drill to warm your team up in practice and before games.

Add this and other basketball drills to your next practice to help your team dominate on the court this season.