Long before tiny OLED modules became commonplace, 7-segment displays did the job of showing users numerical data, as well as a somewhat limited alphabet. Of course, they’re still in use today and a quick and fun exercise to add to projects that need simple output. If you want to move beyond the ordinary, look into larger 7-segment displays.
Typcially one of these digits will be the size of your little fingernail. But there are other options out there. Here’s a kit that mates a larger 7-segment display with a driver backpack. It uses a transistor array to sink the current for each segment. The result is a single digit that is switches the segments serially and can be chained to more digits.
As seen in the video below, these display kits stand 45 millimeters (1.75 inches) tall when assembled. They might not make good components for a basketball display, but are quite a bit larger than standard. These are modules and it becomes more difficult to locate stock items as you get bigger than this. For instance there’s a 12″ over at Evil Mad Scientist but they’re non-stock and the price begins to add up. Foyard has a 5″ module (PDF) but trying to find a source in small quantities is an impossibility. If you really want to go big, consider building your own with an infinite amount of patience.
Digits, along with the decimal point, are changed via a shift register, which can be controlled using an Arduino. Example code and more information can be found on renewable energy innovation’s website.