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In basketball, a "loose ball", is deflected by an offensive player directly to a defensive player already out of bounds. Does the possession changes from offense to defense?

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  • Hi! Welcome to the site. While this rule doesn't really vary between leagues, you will get better answers if you post what specific league or competition level you're asking about when asking rules questions - i.e., NCAA, NBA, high school, etc. Thanks, and welcome!
    – Joe
    Mar 27 at 17:59

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NBA Rule 8. II. c. says in part:

If the ball is out-of-bounds because of touching a player who is on or outside a boundary, such player caused it to go out.

If the ball hadn't touched anything out-of-bounds before contacting the defensive player, then it is ruled out-of-bounds due to that defensive player. No change of possession.

The defensive player has to be in the game though. If it's a member of the team standing at the sideline but not in the game, and that defensive player wasn't doing anything to constitute interference, then it's out-of-bounds off the deflecting offensive player.

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  • The way to think about this: imagine a player is diving for a loose ball that's in the air, and steps over the line while grabbing it. That's clearly out of bounds and off that player, right?
    – Joe
    Mar 27 at 18:00

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