A basketball hoop is an excellent investment for the home. It promotes a healthy, active lifestyle for your kids, encourages constructive pastimes, and provides a foundation for social interaction with friends and family. But what is the best basketball hoop to buy in 2020?
After testing out different models, my suggestion is an in-ground basketball system. An in-ground basketball hoop is one of three types of hoops you can purchase, with mounted and portable basketball systems being the other two.
Several factors make in-ground basketball hoops a great choice. This type of hoop is much more stable than other options. Since they're mounted on a sturdy pole, they can be made of the most heavy-duty materials, making them more durable than other options. You can get a combination of thick glass backboard and an 8-inch pole, which will last you for several years.
A basketball hoop can also have a direct impact on the value of your home since homebuyers tend to favor permanent basketball hoops over other types.
Most in-ground hoops are adjustable, allowing you to lower or raise the height depending on who'll be using it most. As your kids grow, you can adjust the height to accommodate their needs.
There's a wide selection of in-ground hoops available on the market today, and it can be challenging to find the right one for your needs. In this article, we explore some of the best in-ground basketball hoops available in 2020.
Best In-Ground Basketball Hoops
1. Hercules Platinum Fixed Height - (Best Overall In-Ground Basketball Hoop)
The Hercules Platinum Fixed Height is a professional-style basketball hoop that offers the best bang for your buck. It features a 72 x 48 inches backboard with a 0.5-inch thick tempered glass, standard NBA dimensions, meaning you'll get an NBA-like experience when playing on the Hercules.
This in-ground basketball hoop is sturdy and durable, thanks to the galvanized structural components and stainless steel parts. The manufacturer used industry-grade materials, with 7-gauge thick walls to make the 6 inches x 6 inches square pole. Another remarkable feature of this hoop is the one-inch thick high impact outdoor safety Pole and Gusset padding.
The basketball hoop stands 10 feet high. The fixed height may not be ideal if you have smaller children, but it will give you the best experience regardless of the season. By not allowing for height adjustment, the hoop eliminates another factor that may interfere with its stability.
This basketball hoop comes with a lifetime warranty. It also comes with Rust Armor Package that encompasses coverage for the stainless steel components and the Entire System Zinc and Extended Corrosion Warranty.
Overall, Hercules Platinum is a great choice if you're looking for a reliable NBA-spec in-ground basketball hoop. You may need professional assistance with installation.
2. Spalding NBA In-Ground Basketball System - (Best for Gym-Quality Experience)
Spalding is one of the leading basketball brands worldwide with a reputation for making high-quality sporting equipment. As the official sponsor of NBA's balls, their in-ground basketball system features an NBA logo on its tempered glass backboard. The solid and sturdy tempered glass backboard provides impressive rebounding experience during play.
This gym-quality basketball hoop comes in two backboard options: 54-inch and 60-inch. The backboard also features excellent backing. There's a pro image breakaway that is flexible and can handle competitive play. Adults can dunk without worrying about any injuries.
Another great feature is the two-piece, four-inch diameter steel pole securely mounted in the ground to maximize sturdiness and stability. This Spalding basketball hoop also includes a ground sleeve anchor system to allow for easier installation.
You can set the hoop to heights ranging from 7.5 feet to 10 feet. Additionally, the two-feet offset from the pole ensures you have sufficient room below the basket.
Overall, the Spalding NBA In-ground Basketball System is a high-quality and affordable hoop that will give you value for your money. It will ensure may years of gym-quality basketball experience, thanks to its sturdy construction.
3. Pro Dunk Gold Driveway Basketball Hoop - (Best for Dunking)
Here's another excellent choice if you're looking for a basketball hoop that offers NBA gym experience. If you're looking for the best in-ground basketball hoop for dunking, you can't go wrong with the Pro Dunk Gold.
This in-ground basketball system offers unyielding ground stability and professional quality features such as a 60-inch, heavy-duty backboard made of tempered glass. This backboard offers an exceptional rebound compared to most polyurethane and acrylic backboards.
This hoop also features a rust armor of 100% zinc galvanization, a full padding set, and high durability for unrestricted dunking. You can perform any kind of dunks without worrying about breaking it.
With a simple turn of the handle, you can adjust the hoop's height between 5 feet and 10 feet. Overall, Pro Dunk Gold is an excellent investment if you're looking to have a fulfilling playing experience with friends or want to help your child develop NBA-level skills.
The only shortcoming of this fantastic in-ground basketball system is that it might be challenging to assemble on your own, and you may need the help of several strong hands.
4. Silverback SB54 Basketball System - (Best Medium Range In-Ground Basketball Hoop)
Silverback is another top brand in the world of sporting products. This medium-range, in the ground basketball hoop features a 54-inch backboard designed with heavy-duty tempered glass to ensure maximum bounce on the ball. With its powder-coated steel pole, the hoop offers the performance of a gym-style goal.
The hoop also comes with a backboard padding, ensuring extra protection during lay-ups. Its pro-style breakaway rim flexes under pressure during a dunk to prevent breakage or injury. The SB54 comes with a crank actuator, which allows you to alter the hoop from the standard NCAA and NBA height of 10 feet to the recommended safe height of 7.5 feet.
Another remarkable feature of this hoop is the innovative anchor bolt mounting mechanism, making it easy to unfasten and transfer your system to another place. Overall, Silverback SB54 is a great choice if you're looking for a reliable, medium-range basketball hoop.
It's easy to maintain, resistant to wear and tear, and comes with a five-year limited warranty. The notable setback is the heavyweight backboard, which may require several hands to install.
5. Lifetime 71281 - (Best Budget In-Ground Hoop)
If you're tight on budget and looking for a good quality, adjustable in-ground basketball hoop, consider the Lifetime 7182. This hoop is ideal for families who are simply looking for a fun activity to do together.
It comes with a 52-inch backboard ideal for recreational purposes and will meet the needs of most families. The steel frame ensures the backboard is sturdy and durable.
Like most low-cost home basketball hoops, the backboard of the Lifetime 71281 is made of polycarbonate material instead of tempered glass, making the backboard durable and shatterproof. The only setback is that polycarbonate backboards are poorly responsive and don't perform exceptionally well during play.
This hoop comes with a Power Lift Height Adjustment System, allowing easy adjustment of the hoop’s height. You can adjust the height between 7.5 feet and 10 feet by gripping the Power Lift system and lifting to lower the height or pulling down to raise it.
The Lifetime 71281 features an exposed spring breakaway rim setup, which allows for light dunking. However, it's not advisable to hang on the rim, as it may damage the system over time. Like most low-cost inground basketball hoops, the 71281 features a three-piece support pole.
This rounded pole has powder-coating to prevent rusting. The poles are great for recreational uses, but they often cause more vibration than the high-end, one-piece and two-piece support pole designs.
Overall, the Lifetime 71281 is a high-quality in-ground basketball hoop that will suit most families' needs.
6. Pro Dunk Platinum In-Ground Basketball Hoop System - (Best Adjustable Outdoor Hoop)
This high-performance, gym-quality in-ground basketball system offers unmatched height adjustment capability. You can adjust the height of this hoop from 5.5 feet to 10 feet, making it an excellent choice for enjoying basketball with all family members, including smaller kids.
It's also an ideal option if you want to teach your children high-performance basketball skills. Being a gym-quality hoop, you can use the hoop for your hanging exercises without worrying about causing any damages.
It comes with a 72-inch high-quality tempered glass backboard that offers impressive bounce on the ball. This Pro Dunk Platinum also features an 8x6-inch one-piece massive pole that ensures unyielding stability and has a powder coating to prevent rusting. Additionally, the one-inch complete high-impact padding set provides a safe playing environment, protecting you from injuries.
Heavy-duty stainless hardware and safety features make the Pro Dunk Platinum one of the best in-ground outdoor basketball hoops. Overall, this hoop is a worthy investment if you're looking for a top-quality, in-ground adjustable basketball hoop. It is heavyweight equipment, so you might need to hire a professional with the right tools to install it.
7. Lifetime Crank Adjust Basketball System- (Best Portable In-Ground Hoop)
If you're always on the go and looking for an in-ground, portable basketball system that is easy to install and remove, consider the Lifetime Crank Adjust Basketball System.
This basketball hoop features a 54-inch tempered glass backboard that ensures durability and superior rebounding. Its rim is exceptionally slim, delivering higher performance and allowing for rigorous maneuvers. Thanks to the hydraulic height adjustment system, you can easily adjust the rim with a single hand.
The pole that holds the other components of the basketball system is made of steel. The two-piece, square-shaped pole has a powder coating and weather-resistant finish, meaning it can resist rust and withstand the harshest environmental elements.
This Lifetime basketball system features a bolt-down anchoring mechanism, allowing for precision leveling. It can adjust automatically to maintain a flat playing level and minimize distortions.
You can adjust the height of this hoop between 7.5 feet and 10 feet. Overall, the Lifetime Crank Adjust Basketball System is great for enjoying basketball in the comfort of your driveway. Its portable nature, height adjustability, and ease of assembly and disassembly make it irresistible for someone who's often on the move.
8. Goalrilla GS In-Ground Basketball System - (Best for Slum Dunk Training)
If you're looking for a basketball system that can offer many hours of practice time without falling apart, consider the Goalrilla GS.
This hoop is ideal for both beginning players and experienced basketballers. It boasts a robust construction, adjustable height settings, and top-notch stability.
It is built to stand the test of time, with welded construction, powder-coated components, and corrosion-resistant hardware, enduring even the harshest weather conditions. The 60x38-inch wide and 3/8-inch thick heavy-duty tempered glass backboard can withstand even the most skilled slam dunks for many years.
With its adjustable height settings, this Goalrilla hoop can grow with your kids as they grow up. This hoop features an anchor bolt mounting system, allowing for easier installation and adjustment to the appropriate height, and the six-inch pole is made from steel for durability. Portability is another desired feature.
You can easily transport this basketball system if you have to move. The professional-style in-ground adjustable basketball hoop features a three-foot overhang, making it perfect for practicing your lay-ups and slums dunks regardless of where you install it.
9. Lifetime 90020 - (Best In-Ground Basketball Goal for Kids)
If you are shopping for a budget-friendly, first basketball hoop for your children, Lifetime 90020 is ideal. This hoop features a 22-inch overhang, allowing for enjoyable under-the-basket play without worrying about crashing into the goal post.
It comes with a 48-inch polycarbonate backboard, which makes the basketball system lightweight and easy to install. It's worth noting that the backboard is much smaller than a professional 72-inch backboard, making long shots quite challenging.
You can easily adjust the height of this hoop between 7.5 feet and 10 feet. The 3.5-inch round support pole provides sufficient stability and sturdiness. Overall, Lifetime 90020 is an excellent option for kids looking to learn basic basketball skills in their driveway.
Buyer's Guide - How To Choose the Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop
A wide selection of in-ground basketball hoops are available on the market, and choosing the right one can be daunting. To make it easier for you to choose the right hoop, consider a few key factors, such as legal restrictions, budget, backboard size, and age of the player.
Let's take a more in-depth look at the factors to consider when looking for the best in-ground basketball hoops.
If you're looking to install an in-ground basketball hoop in your home, make sure the law allows you to do so. Many municipalities and Home Owner Associations (HOA) have strict rules against unsightly installations.
It can be frustrating if you invest in an expensive basketball system and the authorities ask you to bring it down a few days later. Before you go shopping for a basketball hoop, find out if your HOA or municipality permits permanent installation of basketball hoops in the ground.
The environment in which the hoop will be used is an important consideration when deciding what kind of basketball system to purchase. If you plan to use the hoops in an institutional setting, such as a school or park, you want a more robust system, with a stronger post and heavy-duty backboard.
You may need a backboard that extends further out from the post, providing sufficient room for safe play under the basket. Additionally, you may need a larger backboard of at least 60 inches.
Likewise, if you plan to use the hoop in a residential setting, you might want to go for a smaller backboard, such as 48 inches or 54 inches, and a shorter distance from the pole to the board.
Before you go shopping for in-ground basketball hoops, it's essential to consider the location you want to install your basketball system. Most homeowners install their hoops in the driveway.
However, you must have a level driveway, as it's quite hard to play on an inclined ground. If your backyard is more spacious, consider creating a dedicated basketball area. If your budget allows, you can even construct a full-size basketball court.
Whatever location you choose, make sure the hoop doesn't hang over the street to ensure players' safety. It's advisable to familiarize yourself with local authority regulations and HOA rules to ensure you're not breaking any restrictions on the basketball hoops placement.
The size of a basketball hoop's backboard affects the shot opportunities into the hoop. While it's often advisable to go for a bigger backboard, consider the size of the place where you plan to install your hoop.
If you have a small driveway, a smaller backboard is an ideal option. A larger backboard may overwhelm the space or look unsightly. Your preferred level of professionalism is another factor to consider when deciding what backboard size to choose.
If your child aspires to be a professional basketballer, you might want to invest in the standard 72-inch backboard. This backboard size provides the best practice for real basketball courts. Keep in mind that larger backboards are often more expensive and may not worth the hassle if you plan to use the hoop for recreational purposes only.
The backboard material affects not only its durability but also the bounce of the ball. College, high school, and professional basketball courts usually use tempered glass backboards because this material offers the best bounce and the least vibration.
Tempered glass is hard-wearing and can withstand normal basketball play, but it can break if hit with a hard object such as a rock or a baseball. So, if you plan to use your hoop in an environment where it's exposed to flying objects, consider other materials like steel, fiberglass, acrylic, or aluminum instead of tempered glass.
While acrylic is as clear as glass, it is not as fragile. Fiberglass, aluminum, and steel are generally metallic or white. While all can stand the test of time, fiberglass is the least durable.
Height of the Hoop:
It's important to consider the height of the hoop depending on the age of the players who will be using it. For kids aged two to four years, a 6.5-foot to 7.5-foot basketball system is an ideal choice.
An eight-foot-high basketball hoop would be appropriate for kids aged between five and nine years. If you have children aged ten years and above, you can invest in a 10-foot basketball hoop.
You don't need to buy new basketball hoops every few years to accommodate your growing kids' needs; invest in an adjustable basketball hoop that can grow with your kids or choose one of these best basketball hoops for children. In-ground hoops with height adjustment mechanisms allow for adjustment between 7.5 feet and 10 feet, while some systems can adjust down to five feet.
The budget is another essential consideration when choosing the best in-ground basketball hoops. The best in-ground basketball hoops usually don't come cheap, and even the ones with basic features can cost you several hundred dollars. You also don't want to purchase a cheap basketball hoop that will fall apart within a short period.
When choosing the right basketball hoop, you'll also need to consider additional accessories you may need for the best playing experience.
Accessories such as yard nets ensure that the ball stays within bounds of the play area and can save you the hassle and danger of running down a busy street to recover the ball.
If you plan to play during the evening hours, you might want to purchase LED hoop lights to illuminate the play area.
Ease of Installation:
Installing most in-ground basketball hoops requires the help of an experienced professional unless you have the necessary skills and tools. For mounting the support pole, you'll need to use a cement base to stabilize the hoop.
You'll need about 86 hours to complete this process. Therefore, it's advisable to choose basketball hoops that are easy to install and cheap to remove.
How to Install In-Ground Basketball Hoops
Now that you have found an in-ground basketball hoop that suits your needs, it's time to install it. Installing an in-ground basketball hoop can be overwhelming, but we'll make it easier for you by laying out all the steps involved. If you choose to have a professional install your basketball hoop, expect to pay anywhere from $400-$600.
If you follow this step-by-step in-ground basketball hoop installation guide, you'll have a sturdy basketball hoop in your yard or driveway in no time for less than one hundred dollars.
Step #1: Choose the Best Location
We've already seen that location is one of the major considerations when choosing in-ground basket basketball hoops. Once you have decided on the location where you want to install your hoop, call the relevant authorities to check if any utility lines are passing under the ground.
Remember to check with the municipality or HOA for any guidelines on installing an in-ground basketball hoop on your property. It's also important to read the manufacturer's instructions and check any recommendations for your specific model before proceeding with the installation process.
Step #2: Drill a Hole
You need to dig a hole where you'll place the support pole of your in-ground basketball hoop. Check if your manufacturer has instructions on how to dig the hole for your specific basketball hoop model. You can use a drill, a shovel, or any other appropriate equipment to dig the hole.
Step #3: Add the Concrete
Once the hole is enough for your basketball hoop support pole, you'll need to pour concrete into the hole to secure it. Some basketball hoops come with a one-piece pole, and you will only need to pour concrete around that pole, while one or two other people hold the pole straight.
Most basketball hoop systems come with a rebar-mounted anchor. You'll need to set this anchor into the concrete after pouring it. While adding the concrete, be sure to regularly agitate it with a shovel to get rid of any air pockets.
Finish this step by smoothing out the concrete's surface with a trowel, making sure it is level. Use a damp sponge or towel to clear off any excess concrete. Give the concrete 24 to 48 hours to dry before you continue with the installation process.
Step #4: Assemble and Raise the Pole
If your basketball goal system comprises only a support pole in the concrete, you don’t need this step. However, if the system comes with a mounting anchor, you'll need to assemble and raise the support pole.
Different models have different setups, so it's important to follow the instructions for your specific model. If your basketball hoop has a height adjustment mechanism, follow the directions when assembling the lift system and support arms.
If the post is too heavy, you might want to find several hands to help you lift it. Taking necessary safety measures, let your team lift the pole to match up with the anchor piece in the concrete.
Before securing the pole into place with bolts, be sure that it is level. Otherwise, adjust the leveling nuts accordingly until the post is level.
Step #5: Attach Your Backboard
For some basketball hoop systems, you'll need to attach the backboard before you raise the pole. However, most high-end models require you to attach it once you've raised and secured the pole.
Like the support pole, most backboards are heavyweight, especially the ones made with tempered glass, meaning you may need several helping hands to lift it and install it safely. It's advisable to have several other people on standby to ensure safe lifting and avoid breaking the glass.
Have your team lift the backboard to the support arms and have one person secure it to the support mount. Backboards are designed differently, so make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions to secure all parts correctly.
Step #6: Add the Rim and Net
Once you've attached the backboard firmly, you need to install the basketball rim and net. All you need to do is bolt the rim firmly to the backboard.
If you're using a breakaway rim, the assembly process could be more complicated. Once you attach the rim, install the net by hooping it around the hooks on the rim.
Step #7: Final Touches
Your in-ground basketball is now up and ready for playing. However, you need to touch-up a few things to ensure the best playing experience. Some basketball hoops come with extra padding that attaches around the pole and the backboard corners.
While these paddings are usually optional, they enhance the safety of players. They prevent bruises and bumps, or other injuries when you crash into the basketball hoop.
If your basketball hoop is adjustable, consider adjusting it to your family's appropriate height. Start by setting the hoop at the standard 10 feet, so you can label the height on the pole or use the provided height markers.
Measure the rim's height to ensure accuracy. You can then adjust it to any height of your desire. The height markers make it easy to see at a glance where to adjust the basketball hoop system.
You might have invested in extra accessories, such as LED hoop lighting. You can install them now by following the manufacturer's directions. If you decide to paint court lines in your playing area, make sure you pressure wash the surface for the paint to adhere properly.
You'll need to measure where the lines should be and use a painter's tape to mark off the area. Remove the tape after painting in your lines. Your basketball court is now ready for play.
Do You Need a Professional for In-Ground Basketball Hoop Installation?
If you can read and follow instructions properly and safely use simple tools, you don’t need professional service. With preparation and some helping hands, you can take a DIY approach to install your in-ground basketball hoop.
You should always take the necessary precautions when assembling and installing basketball hoops to avoid accidents and injuries. If you find a step you don't understand or can't find someone to help you, it's advisable to call an expert.
Basketball hoop installation professionals have the expertise and experience to install your basketball hoop right the first time, saving you time and headaches.
Best In-Ground Basketball Hoops - FAQs
Below are some of the frequently asked questions that you might come across when shopping for the best in-ground basketball hoop:
What is the best basketball hoop? Are in-ground basketball ball hoops the best option?
The best basketball hoop to buy often depends on your personal needs, and the specific features for which you're looking. Nonetheless, in-ground basketball hoops offer more benefits than other types. They are more stable, durable, and help enhance the value of your property.
What is the appropriate size of a basketball hoop to buy?
If you're buying a basketball hoop for your kids, a backboard of 48 inches to 54 inches is appropriate. For teenagers or adults, any in-ground basketball hoop system with a backboard of 72 inches will do.
What is the regulation height for basketball hoops?
The standard height of basketball hoops, as specified by the NBA, is 10 feet.
How much space is appropriate for an in-ground basketball hoop installation?
When it comes to installing an in-ground basketball hoop, you'll need 10-15 feet of concrete in front of your goal. However, 15 feet is the best choice, as it's the exact distance of the free-throw line.
What is the NBA's recommended basketball hoop brand?
NBA uses Spalding basketball hoops for official games since Spalding is the official sponsor of NBA balls.
Should I choose an acrylic or polycarbonate backboard?
Tempered glass backboards are the most popular choice for their superior bounce. However, if you have to choose between polycarbonate and acrylic, the former is better. Polycarbonate backboards are stronger and more durable than their acrylic counterparts.
Is a 54-inch backboard too small for adult players?
Your playing area will often determine the size of the backboard to buy. While a larger backboard allows for easier shots, a backboard of 54 inches will work just as well as one that is 72 inches if you have limited space.
According to Basketball experts, a 54-inch or 60-inch backboard is ideal for a two-car driveway. If you have a larger play space, consider buying the 72-inch one.
What is the appropriate depth for installing a basketball pole?
The recommended minimum depth for a basketball pole installation is four feet deep.
How much concrete is suitable for installing basketball hoops?
The amount of concrete to use will depend on how deep you're installing the pole. You can calculate the cubic feet using the formula: length x width x depth.
A hole that is 2-foot long by 2-foot wide by 2-foot deep is eight cubic feet. To determine the amount of concrete to use, multiply the cubic feet by 0.6 if you're using a 60-pound concrete bag. If you're using an 80-pound bag, multiply the cubic feet by 0.8.
Conclusion: On the Best Inground Basketball Goal
If you've read this entire review and buyer's guide, you probably have made up your mind on what in-ground basketball to buy depending on your needs and budget. This review is designed to help you find the best in-ground basketball hoop among the numerous options available today.
No matter the features you're looking for in a hoop, whether it's tempered glass, portability, adjustability, or affordability, we hope you find the best one.