A foundation of basic strength is worth its weight in gold when you’re pursuing anything athletic, especially popular sports. The primal lifts are all important and should be both practiced and progressed. That said, here are the two you should be doing in particular:
Trap Bar Deadlift
The deadlift pattern is great for building strength, and using a trap bar better simulates vertical jumping mechanics and incorporates more quads. Beyond that, it’s a loaded pull movement, which can be easier on the joints than a push movement. It creates more activation for the posterior muscles while leaving the shoulders in a good position to keep them healthy.
Standing Overhead Press
The overhead press not only loads the shoulders, but it delivers strength benefits throughout the whole body by activating the upper back and core, too. Going up for a shot or a rebound while taking contact requires some serious resilience, and having strong overhead capacity will help you handle that school bus of a center bearing down on you.