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Get A Grip

There are bigger gripes in basketball these days, especially in
the NBA, but a sweaty ball is always an irritant to players. The
Wilson Solution ($70) has microscopic holes in its knobby
surface and along the black stripes that absorb moisture and
prevent the ball from becoming slippery. Already the practice
ball of choice for several Division I teams, the Solution has a
slightly spongy feel and is softer than other balls on the
market (though its bounce is the same as a regulation ball), but
it still feels dry even after it has soaked up perspiration.

Absorbent polyurethane surfaces such as this one have been
around for a while--check out the grip on many high-end tennis
rackets--but until now they couldn't withstand the abrasion
caused by repeated bouncing off a wooden floor. Now that this
critical problem has been solved, the rest of the game should be
no sweat.

--Loren Mooney

COLOR PHOTO: LYLE KAHN [Hand holding Wilson Solution basketball]