Since late August, STACK has been testing the Wilson X Connected Basketball, which records whether you make or miss shots during practice sessions. The verdict: This technology-enhanced ball should be on every shooter's holiday wish list.
During our test, real student-athletes at STACK Sports Performance Centers and at T3 Performance in Avon, Ohio, spent hours shooting with the X. Players loved how it tracked their shooting percentages across the floor, showing them the spots where they were hot—along with the places where they should put in some extra reps. A bluetooth-enabled device implanted inside the ball (see the small black circle on the photo below) relays your data to your smartphone.
All of your shooting stats sync directly with the ball's companion app, making helpful figures on your field goal percentage and range instantly available on your smartphone screen.
Tests showed that the data produced by the ball is pretty accurate. When we compared the ball's stats with manually recorded ones, we found that the ball was pretty much dead-on. And of course, the smartphone stats looked a lot cooler—and were far easier to share socially—than the hand-recorded ones.
The only issue we came across was that it doesn't really track shots inside of 7 feet, so short-range shooters would want to look elsewhere. The app can be demanding on your phone's battery, so have your charger available for the drive home from the gym.
Wilson's X comes in both official and intermediate size, costs $200, and is available for purchase at wilson.com/x.