Answer (1 of 6): What do the numbers on the basketball jerseys mean? They are there to tell the players apart. Each player wears a different number. In American high school and college basketball the only legal numbers are 0 or 00 (but not both may be worn),1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15...
Jersey numbers are used to distinguish different players and for some are just a number on their chests. However, for others they offer a much deeper meaning. Numbers can be superstitions, just like a lucky pair of socks or a special hair band. Some numbers are passed down through generations, so the number represents a family legacy.
For many, it means more than just their birthday, or their favorite month, their number holds a special meaning to them. Here are some NBA players, and why they picked their jersey number: Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards (‘03 –‘10), #0
Professional basketball is the only level where you can have a number above 5 on your jersey. This is because the refs need to signal to the scorer's table for fouls, and use their hands for the jersey number for who the foul is against, and obviously can't go above "5."
A Summary of Allowable Jersey Numbers. NBA: All Numbers. WNBA: 00, 0-55. NCAA: 00, 0, 1-5, 10-15, 20-25, 30-35, 40-45, 50-55. NFHS: 00, 0, 1-5, 10-15, 20-25, 30-35, 40-45, 50-55 *FIBA: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 * Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur (International Basketball Federation)
Over the years, numbers have become the source of emotional attachment and superstition, causing players to stick with their personal preferences. For instance, Johnny Neves always wore the number seven because it is his last name spelled backward. David Wells wore number three in honor of his favorite player, Babe Ruth. Team Uniform Numbers
In college basketball, single-digit players' numbers are officially recorded as having a leading zero. Teams can have either a "0" or "00", but they cannot have both. Basically, it eases the communication between the refs and the scorers; since you only have five fingers per hand, refs can only denote numbers one through five non-verbally.
In team sports, the number, often referred to as the uniform number, squad number, jersey number, shirt number, sweater number, or similar (with such naming differences varying by sport and region) is the number worn on a player's uniform, to identify and distinguish each player (and sometimes others, such as coaches and officials) from others wearing the same or similar uniforms.