We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Ally Oop Pass?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports n' Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An ally oop pass is a type of play in basketball that when executed properly results in a score. Legend has it that the ally oop pass initially applied to the Hail Mary pass in football, a long throw down the field by a quarterback with little chance of being caught without “divine intervention.” While the term may once have been used in football, it makes more sense as a basketball term. Alley oop derives from the French allez-oup, the announcement of the circus acrobat that he/she is about to jump. In basketball, the jump is essential to execute the pass.

The basic alley oop occurs near the offensive team’s basket, as close as possible to it. One player jumps and tosses the ball near the basket, and a second player of the same team responds by jumping up to sink the ball into the basket. When the first ally oop pass attempts were tried in the 1960s, it was legal to slam dunk balls in college basketball. The second player would slam the ball, hopefully, straight into the basket. In 1967, dunking was outlawed in college basketball, making the ally oop less exciting. The second player had to merely catch the ball and drop it into the basket.

Al and Gerald Tucker of the Oklahoma Baptist University probably performed the first ally oop pass attempts and successes in college basketball. The move became more popular in the 1970s, especially at North Carolina State University, because of the impressive jumping ability of player David Thompson. Ultimately, dunking became legal in college basketball giving the ally oop new dimensions. The second player would not just drop the ball into the hoop but would slam it in with incredible ferocity. This made the ally oop pass extremely popular, and during the 1990s, the National Basketball Association (NBA) turned this move into both an entertaining and effective offensive weapon.

There are some variants to the ally oop. A single player can throw the ball high up and then come up in a jump to slam the ball into the basket. This is more challenging to do, but certainly impressive to watch. Another version of the pass has the player throw the ball toward the backboard of the hoop, then catch it on the bounce back for a slam dunk. This is considered most difficult because it can be difficult to attempt the throw without causing a penalty, or it can cause the offensive team to turn over the ball to the defense. It’s sometimes considered showing off to perform this second ally oop pass, and too risky in important games.

Some of the players most skilled at performing the ally oop pass include some of the arguably best known players in basketball, including Shaquille O’ Neal, who delighted fans when he pulled off this move. Halftime shows at basketball games may feature elaborate versions of the ally oop pass, with a variety of fancy jumps and acrobatics in between the first pass and the slam dunk.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Sports n' Hobbies contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon23180 — On Dec 18, 2008

I believe the ally-oop was invented by Ryan Nice in 1776. He was the single reason for the independence of our nation. I was there. It was awesome.

By anon6256 — On Dec 21, 2007

i remember the ally oop pass going back to the 50s in the NFL.

the 49ers' quarterback y.a. title threw the pass to halfback r.c. owens, who had played basketball and could elevate.

i think this predates the basketball association, which makes sense because of the comic strip "ally oop," which was at the height of its popularity.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Sports n' Hobbies contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.