Not without a reason this basketball has been chosen as the official game ball by many (mostly European) organizations. As of season 2010/2011 in Germany it is the official 1st Division Beko Basketball Bundesliga game ball. The Spalding TF-1000 ZK Pro is a high quality product which has been available throughout the global market for quite some time now and has found a lot of supporters, from recreational players, semi-pro to pros. Some players of mine have been using this ball for years and they still enjoy playing with it and won’t trade it for any other basketball. When doing scrimmages, this is the only ball they’ll accept for playing.

Basically there are three types of materials which are used for basketballs: rubber, composite leather and real leather. Mostly, rubber balls are being used in the youth leagues and for playing recreational basketball outdoors. Full-grain leather basketballs represent the top-of-the-line products which are used by professionals and are very expensive. The Spalding TF-1000 ZK Pro is made out of microfiber composite leather, a synthetic leather type commonly used as it is much more durable and cheaper than a full-grain leather basketball.

During my basketball career as a player and coach I’ve had different basketballs for my practices. Most of the time these were balls from Molten, Nike or Spalding. I have almost never used rubber balls, when I started to play seriously, although rubber balls make sense for beginners as they are inexpensive and are great for playing outdoors. Nonetheless, if you are serious in playing basketball, you can’t think away synthetic leather balls.

The Spalding TF-1000 ZK Pro should be used indoor only and this is where you can really benefit from it. When playing the overall grip and feel is great. Properly inflated the ball bounces consistently and accurately. As a rule-of-thumb, if you drop the basketball at shoulder height, it should almost bounce back same height. The weight is optimal and within regulations, and when shooting it has a nice touch when releasing it from your finger tips. The extra deep channels (the part where leather meets the seams) make it easy to grip and position the ball perfectly for a good shot with a great spin. The microfiber repels sweat and stays dry in every situation. This is important when passing or shooting the ball in extreme situations.

In the beginning our new set of Spalding TF-1000 ZK Pro Basketballs were a little slippery, when first used in the gym, so if you decide to purchase a set, make sure to plan in enough of time to let the small protective layer of oil wear off from the ball. This will surely not hinder you in working with the basketball effectively, but for some players it might feel unusual. In the transitional period from old to new basketballs, I’ve kept both sets in the gym. After a good month of practice sessions the protective layer is totally gone and the Spalding TF-1000 ZK Pro gets its high-quality leather feeling.

What I like:

  • Quality: This ball will last forever, when treated right. We’ve been using them for months and they have not been wearing down.
  • Durability: Indoor daily usage on competitive levels is no problem.
  • Feel: High-Quality materials with a good feel and grip. The deep channel groves offer great handling of the Spalding TF-1000 ZK Pro at any situation you’ll face on-court.
  • Meets top level specifications & regulations

What can be improved

  • Price: It is a little more expensive than your average basketball, but a very good investment on the long run.