The highway is the one-third strip of the court right down the middle of the floor.
When I ask great offensive players where they want the ball, they always say in the middle of the floor. If that’s the case, then defensively, we need to do everything we can to keep the ball out of the highway!
Now, why call it the highway? Because as a kid, I was told to NOT play in the highway; to keep my ball out the highway; you can get run over in the highway!
But what if the player I’m guarding gets in the highway? Then like a good boy scout or girl scout, help them across the highway – don’t let them go down the highway – you won’t get a merit badge doing that! Keep the ball out of the highway if you can, but if not, then help it out and don’t let it back in.
The outer one-thirds of the floor are called The Alleys. That’s where we want to push the ball and that’s where we want to keep it. You know, you can’t see as good in the alleys as you can in the middle of the street. There’s less space maneuver in an alley. You have the sideline and baseline as extra defenders!
Those two concepts, the highway and the alleys, will simplify the understanding of you defensive goals. Keep the ball out of the highway and in the alleys. Do that and the percentages are in your favor!