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How to Choose a Basketball Hoop

WriterKelsy Kim
6 min read
Two kids playing basketball in the driveway

There’s nothing better than the sound of the ball splashing the bottom of the net while shooting hoops. Where do you or the young ballers in your household go to play basketball right now? Perhaps there is a nearby gym to practice your 3-point marksmanship or a park with outdoor courts for night games. Maybe the school your children attend has an open gym policy with outdoor basketball hoops by the playground?

While all of those options are fine, consider all the great benefits of having a basketball hoop at home. Growing up with a hoop in the driveway or backyard has been a timeless tradition for decades. There are also numerous health and fitness benefits, opportunities for your friends and family to bond, as well as being able to practice basketball fundamentals from the comfort of home. An at-home hoop also eliminates back-and-forth drives, any worries about closing times, and increases the safety for the younger hoopers in your household.

Before you begin designing your dream court, keep in mind that there are different types of basketball goals and the way you play the game can be greatly affected by the type of hoop you select. Academy Sports + Outdoors wants to help you choose the best basketball goal to bring the game home to you, your family, and friends.

What Are the Different Types of Basketball Hoops?

The differences between these types of basketball hoops deserve an important amount of consideration when deciding to add a court feel to your residence. Each of these hoop types has benefits that can add the sweet feel of home-court advantage when you select the best one for yourself and your family.

A father and daughter playing basketball in the driveway

In-Ground Basketball Hoops

In-ground basketball hoops are the most stable and professional-looking of the types, delivering a permanent basketball option for practicing or playing at home. These hoops are installed with an anchor system secured 48” deep into the ground – usually alongside the driveway or in the backyard – and reinforced with a cement base to provide fixed stability.

These hoops are the most durable and can be ideal for dunking or layup drills since, once installed properly, they are not budging. If permanence is not a problem, the collegiate-style appearance and stability of in-ground basketball hoops may be the best option.

Remember, if you choose to do it yourself rather than hiring a professional service, it will take a few days as the cement needs 72 hours to cure. You’ll also need a few extra hands (for a total of five people) to properly install the backboard.

EXPERT TIP: Once you pick the spot where you’d like to dig for the in-ground basketball goal foundation, call your utility services to make sure your desired location is clear of any underground utility lines prior to digging.

Two people sporting basketball shoes

Portable Basketball Hoops

Portable basketball hoops often feature a stand-alone unit design with a base that needs to be filled with sand or water for the necessary stability and wheels for convenient transport. Their wheels and movable construction allow them to be wheeled into cul-de-sacs to get a large neighborhood pickup game going or brought up the driveway for personal or one-on-one practice.

EXPERT TIP: Be sure to always bring your hoop into a safe, secure place during storms and keep the base properly filled to avoid it toppling over unexpectedly.

A basketball hoop in the driveway

Wall-Mounted Basketball Hoops

Another permanent option for practice and play are wall-mounted basketball hoops. These hoops are usually mounted to an extension bracket and installed on the garage or other exterior walls of the house. Wall-mounted hoops save outdoor space as they do not have poles, bases or any other parts that assemble into or near the ground.

Please note that wall-mounted hoops are typically mounted to external walls and, therefore, can make your home's outer walls unintentionally targeted by air balls or misfired jumpers. However, if saving space and creating a fun, permanent place for you and your family to play countless games is your goal, the wall-mounted hoop should be your hoop.

Time for the Highlight Reel

Now that you know more about the different types of basketball hoops and how each one differs, you can start the process of creating your dream home court! Be mindful of other factors when purchasing such as backboard materials, adjustability features, and appropriate sizing for basketball hoops for kids. The best basketball hoop system for your home will provide a 24/7 safe playing environment, lots of new memories, and maybe even shape a future hoops star.

You can find hoops and other essential basketball gear when you shop in-store or online at Academy Sports + Outdoors today.