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Wilson Evolution Basketball for Serious Hoopers

ByQueen Ballers Club|@queenballers| December 18, 2021If you buy something from a link on our site, Queen Ballers Club may earn a commission.

The Wilson Evolution basketball is our favorite ball for both indoor and outdoor hooping, even though it’s designed specifically for indoor use. Steph Curry mentions in his MasterClass that hoopers should train with balls as similar as possible to the ones they use in games: in terms of quality, degree of inflation, size, and so on because it will help your skills translate into live play. So we prefer to use the Evolution at all times.

This ball also happens to be the number one selling high school basketball in the country and comes with an additional stamp of approval from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). It has over 10,000 reviews from customers with a total rating of 4.8 out of 5. In short, it’s legit.

So today we’re going to take you through our review of the ball to help you make your purchase decision, and get the right ball for you! Plus we’ll share the price, where you can buy it, and how to get a discount.

WIlson Evolution basketball

Wilson Evolution basketball review

The Wilson Evolution is a nice fit for serious hoopers. By serious we mean high school kids and older. As it’s a bit pricey for middle school basketball scholars, unless they’re already on the AAU circuit.

  1. Great feel: The Evolution is great to play with because it actually feels soft, which is really unique for a ball. The way it slides off your hands for a shot can’t be beat. Its outer is a bit more cushioned than other balls, without being bulky. For example, think about holding a tennis ball versus a lacrosse ball. The lacrosse ball is hard and unforgiving. But the tennis ball is gentle, and you feel like you have more control – that’s the Evolution compared to other balls. It’s like holding an orange rather than an apple.
  2. Easy grip: That being said the Evolution doesn’t slip out of your hands. The texture across the surface and the deep groves help make it really easy to hold. It’s very grippy because of the way it’s speckled with raised bumps. Because of that hoopers have a better chance at palming this ball than others.
  3. Bounce: The bounce of this ball is consistent. It doesn’t randomly fall short or head in a different direction. You can trust when you’re dribbling, it’s going to come up where you sent it. It’s smooth!
  4. Multiple color ways: This isn’t all that important to us. But it’s still nice that you can get the ball with your choice of color for the logo. Options include green, blue, orange, yellow, and more. This can make it easy to spot your ball at the gym or court, and also help ensure no one else takes it by getting mixed up thinking it’s theirs.
  5. Durable: Even with daily use for hours outdoors this ball lasts about 6 months. We’ve even used it in the rain before and it’s held up – though we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. (Pro tip: On rainy days, you can try putting a plastic bag around your ball and dribbling with it that way. The decreased control can help you improve your handles.)
  6. Simple to inflate: The ball ships a little deflated so we recommend putting air in it right away. The valve is easy to deal with, functions well, and works with any typical ball pump.

Comparing the Wilson Evolution to other basketballs

As you can see when comparing the Evolution to other Wilson and Spalding balls (albeit two that are more worn in), the Evolution’s sections have a little more padding and the channels are a touch deeper. When dribbled, the other balls feel harder on your hands, springier, and bounce inconsistently in random directions, compared to the Evolution.

Wilson Evolution ball compared to other balls

The only thing that could be considered a negative about the Evolution is it takes a few days to kind of break it in. By day 10ish you’ll be cooking though!

We’re not the only ones who love the Evolution by the way. Over time, Wilson’s Evolution has been a more popular ball than even the Spalding NBA ball, judging by the number of times people have searched for it online. Here’s a chart comparing the two balls over the last 5 years. The blue Wilson line has a higher average interest over time.

What is the Wilson Evolution ball made out of?

The Wilson Evolution ball is made of leather. As most basketballs today are – so that’s not really what makes it special. It features a cushion core made of low-density sponge rubber and ultra-durable butyl rubber which is the real difference maker when it comes to feel. And it also has composite pebble channels which give you that strong grip.

Wilson Evolution basketball in yellow beauty shot

Is the Wilson Evolution the NBA ball?

The Wilson Evolution is not the NBA ball. Wilson Sporting Goods Co supplied the basketballs for the league from 1946-1983, before being replaced by Spalding. Now they are back as of the 2021 season with the new Wilson NBA official game ball, in advance of the NBA’s 75th anniversary season. The Wilson NBA official game ball is made of the same materials, eight-panel configuration and performance specifications as the league’s prior game balls and sources the same leather used before in the NBA. 

What size is a Wilson Evolution ball?

The Wilson Evolution comes in all three standard basketball sizes for men, women, and children. Or really for big hands, medium hands, and small hands. It weighs 2.67 pounds.

Wilson Evolution basketball price & where to get it

The Wilson Evolution costs $69.95 on the Wilson website, Wilson Sporting Goods Retail Stores, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Walmart. It’s sometimes available on Amazon for a similar price, but is currently listed as high as $174.

While the Evolution is about double the cost of a standard indoor or outdoor ball, the premium is well worth it for the feel. And if you use it for at least 6 months it works out to cost you about 40 cents a day, which is a worthwhile investment in your craft. It’s also less than half the price of the NBA 75th Anniversary Authentic ball – so it’s not the top end of the market either.

Wilson Evolution basketball cheap

For the cheapest offering, you’re best off buying directly from Wilson. They ship pretty quickly too. It took four business days for delivery when we bought from them most recently. And shipping is free!

Wilson Evolution basketball discount

As for getting a discount on your new basketball, here are a few tips. First, Wilson offers a free shipping discount for orders over $50, which your Evolution will qualify for. Second, there are big sales periods during the year, so it might make sense to wait for those and then stock up – for example, around the November and December holidays during Black Friday Deals. Wilson also always provides discounts for first responders, military members, and healthcare workers, so be sure to use those if they apply to you.

Shop the Wilson Evolution basketball

Basically the Wilson Evolution basketball is our favorite ball, and we think you’ll enjoy it too! It makes a great gift for any hooper, teammate, or coach for birthdays, holidays, and the start of the basketball season. Once you get your ball, here are a few creative ways to put it to use:

  • Basketball shooting drills: It’s not always easy to find someone to hoop with, but that’s not an excuse to not work on your shot. Here are some fun individual basketball shooting drills you can do, including some you can do without a hoop, from home. 
  • Footwork drills for guards: We’re going to cover some great footwork drills with a ball, some without, and some with a ladder. That way, no matter what equipment or space you have, there’s something you can work on today.
  • Guard offensive drills: We’ll begin with dribbling to get your body warm. Then we’ll move into shooting and driving. And finally wrap up with a little defensive footwork and speed work. 
  • Best handling drills at home: Check out 27 of the best ball dribbling drills to work through. Do these drills in isolation, or you can do them in a row. And they get progressively more challenging.

As a Wilson partner, we’ll get a little money back from any purchases you make to help support our website and it won’t cost you any more – a double win for basketball!

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