Put the hand pump together if is not already in one piece. Screw the hose section into the pump by twisting clockwise. Screw in a needle on the end of the hose until it stops twisting.
Scan the basketball for the hole. There will only be one hole, often hidden in a ridge. Near the hole will be the recommended pressure gauge for the basketball.
Moisten the needle tip with water. A dry needle can cause damage to the ball and the needle itself.
Cradle the ball in your arm to keep it secure while you insert the needle tip into the basketball hole.
Hold the base of the pump with one hand while you pull up on the handle. Push down on the handle to force air into the ball. Repeat pumping until the basketball is inflated.