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Game Changer In-Ground Basketball System Review

Main Features

  • 60 Inch Tempered Glass Backboard Offers The Best In Performance and Responsiveness
  • Height Adjustment From 7 1/2' to 10' Makes This A Good Hoop For Developing Young Hoopers
  • Gym Quality Breakaway Rim Allows For Moderate Dunking Without Issue
  • Comes With Support Pole and Backboard Padding for Enhanced Safety
  • 12 Gauge 5" x 5" Steel Support Pole Creates a Stable Base For The Hoop

Rim

When it comes to basketball rims, us hoopers can be pretty particular.  I've found myself complaining about rims being too stiff, too soft, and lacking durability.  

If you're picky about your rims like me, then the Game Changer In-Ground Hoop will not disappoint.  The rim on this thing is the truth, like gym quality through and through.  It offers a spring loaded breakaway mechanism that will allow for dunking and creates just the right amount of give when shots hit the rim.  While you can dunk on the hoop, I don't recommend hanging due to long-term wear and tear.

Backboard

I've often found myself a little let down by the performance of recreational basketball hoops in terms of backboard quality.  Most are made of subpar materials like polycarbonate that are simply dead when a shot hits the board.  This means that practicing bank shots accurately is not possible, since shooting the ball that hard on a real gym hoop would mean the ball will fire off the backboard like a cannon.

To get true backboard performance their really is no substitute for tempered glass. This ensures the backboard will be responsive and makes practicing bank shots possible in the comfort of your own driveway.

One thing to note about tempered glass is that it is fragile.  If your hoop were to tip and the glass hit the pavement, it will shatter.  So, while tempered glass is the best material for a backboard, for those of you living in windy environments it may be worth looking into hoops with a more durable backboard material.

Another great feature for the backboard is the padding that aligns the bottom.  It can be easy for higher jumpers to hit their hand on the backboard, which could lead to injuries to fingers, hands, and wrists.  With the padding, there is a soft surface that will keep players safe.

Support System

In-ground basketball hoops have an advantage when it comes to stability compared to their portable counterparts.  In-ground hoops actually use the ground as their base making them much more resistant to forces like a basketball hitting the rim and dunking.  

The Game Changer In-Ground Basketball Hoop takes this to a whole new level thanks to the 5 x 5 inch single piece support pole.  Single piece support poles are the gold standard and are found only on the best quality basketball hoops. Protecting players from the support pole is a heavy-duty pad that covers the majority of the support pole surface.  If a player happens to run into the pole during play this pole pad will minimize the chances of serious injury.  

With this support system the support pole bolts into a cement base.  This allows for the Game Changer In-Ground Basketball Hoop to be moved if needed.  That being said, if you plan to move frequently we recommend that you consider purchasing a portable basketball hoop.

Last Second Shot

When it comes to spending your hard earned money on a basketball hoop, there are a lot of factors to consider.  With a price point in the $1100 range, it is safe to say the Game Changer Basketball Hoop is not the cheapest option out there.  But there is good reason for this when you consider all the features that come with the hoop not to mention the premium quality of the unit overall.  Taken as a whole, this hoop is an above average value.

Strengths for this hoop really lie within its rim, backboard, and large support pole that works to keep the entire system stable.  For those willing to spend some serious cheddar on their basketball system, then they should give the Game Changer In-Ground Basketball Hoop a serious look.

10 Best Basketball Shoes Under $100 for 2018

 

It’s not the best feeling: you hustled for an hour across a full court, only to miss the game-winning shot.

Your teammates can’t help but put all the blame on you—and that jackass from the other team is too busy celebrating to even notice you.

And to top it all off, you suddenly notice a gaping hole just opened up on the side of your shoe.

And while there’s definitely more to the game of basketball than just your shoes, there’s nothing better than the feeling of a high-quality pair of basketball sneakers to boost your confidence—and your game.

But just because you want a decent pair of shoes, doesn’t mean you have to go broke. You can even stay within a reasonable budget.  To prove my point, here’s a list of the top 10 basketball shoes under $100.

 

1. Nike Men’s Air Versatile II

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Stay agile and cushioned with Nike’s Air Versitile II for men. This pair packs all the essentials for a great, affordable price.

Let’s start with the design. Sleek: that’s what you’re getting as the interlocking black and white patterns form a support system for your feet.

Made with textile and synthetic materials, the focus was placed on ensuring you are padded and protected on the court.

An Air-Sole beneath the heel will help provide comfort and security when coming down from a big jump shot. Additionally, the unit is visible near the rear of the shoe, adding a great design element.

You’ll also get added security with the fly wire cables installed across the sides, providing much-needed lockdown. The heel package is incredibly plush, essentially “hugging” your foot for added comfort.

Simply put, the quality of the shoes at this price makes it a fantastic choice. Buy Here

 

2. Under Armour Men’s NXT TB

best basketball shoes under $100 - under armour 2

 

This is the pair of sneakers you show off to your friends (and enemies) on the court—and fool them into thinking you spent a fortune.

The NXT TB for men by Under Armour is something to marvel at. Aesthetically, it has that edgy, gritty design that’s an instant eye-catcher.

A series of gridded, hash-patterns appear across the backend and blend softly into the side. Made of textile and synthetic materials, the upper’s mesh is coated with TPU yarn, all embroidered to offer maximum structuring.

The medial quarter panel is made of a modeled, articulated material that will ensure additional support for when it matters the most.

Stay loose and breathable with a light, mesh tongue that ensures necessary ventilation. A speed-lacing system using a webbed loop will have you ready to ball out in no time. Buy Here

 

3. ANTA Klay Thompson KT3 Playoffs Low

best cheap basketball shoes - anta 3

 

This pair by ANTA is another visual stunner that betrays its price. The Klay Thompson KT3 Playoffs Low for men provides a combination of incredible looks with technical design precision.

Let’s start at the top: the upper is comprised of a mesh material that will offer incredible levels of breathability. In fact, nearly the entire upper and sides are made up of the mesh, ensuring a feeling of freedom.

This, however, doesn’t detract from the stability and traction beneath your feet. The outsole is made of EVA, rubber, and TPU to maximize that feeling of security you need to feel confident on the court.

If your town’s summers tend to get particularly hot, these low-cut sneakers are ideal. Add to this ANTA’s EVE system foam pads across the shoe’s rear, and it’ll feel like floating compared to your old pair. Buy Here

 

4. Nike Men’s Air Precision

best basketball shoes under $100 - nike 4

 

The name says it all: the Air Precision for men by Nike is an incredibly affordable pair without skimping on the quality.

Do not let stable sneakers wear you down on the court. The Air Precision creates a system that is lightweight yet supportive. You’ll also get that locked-in feel without the weight of other models.

The upper is comprised of a light mesh for maximum ventilation. A skin overlay helps keep your mid-foot securely in place.

Foam pads located in precise spots will give you that walking-on-air feeling—you know, the one that makes you feel capable of jumping higher than Jordan.

In addition, you’re getting a half-length bootie that meets the perfect balance point between high and low.

Top it all off with a Herringbone pattern on the rubber to keep you stable and full of traction. Buy Here

 

5. Nike Men’s Kyrie 3

best cheap basketball shoes - nike 5

 

Kyrie is known for a lot of crazy things: crazy handle, finishes, and crazy beliefs—like thinking the earth is flat!

But sometimes, crazy is just too cutting-edge for us to understand, and this is certainly the case with how he handles the rock.

And so the Nike Men’s Kyrie 3 was created with this philosophy in mind, accommodating quick feet and a lightning-fast roar towards the hoop. The sneakers’ zonal support system provides all the stability you need while keeping you lightweight.

With the inclusion of hyperfuse construction, you’ll feel securely in place without compromising on breathability. Furthermore, the mid-sole is comprised of foam that can offer much-needed protection without all the bulk or weight.

And lastly, to accommodate a flagrant playing style, curvature designs on the outside will provide great support for lateral movements. Buy Here

 

6. Adidas Men’s Dame 4

best basketball shoes under $100 - adidas dame 4

 

The Dame 4 by Adidas has remained a classic in the industry and the fourth iteration is no exception.

First, the design has been updated to be more modern and trim. The textile upper provides an eye-catching support system that’s also breathable.

The midsole incorporates the trademarked “boost” cushioning so that quick movements are both supported and enabled. Additional security is ensured through a lacing system that keeps the entire package locked down.

Between the neoprene collar, snug bootee design, and tread pattern across the outsole, you’ll find yourself capable of almost any movement without fear of consequence.

But let’s not forget about style. The tread pattern reflects the passage of time and this latest model has been updated to stay modern and fresh. Collectively, it all comes together with the grace and dependability you can expect from Adidas. Buy Here

 

7. Jordan Men’s Fly Unlimited

best cheap basketball shoes - jordan 7

He’s the man known for landing last-second game winning shots and jumping as high as the sky. So naturally, if it’s a pair of sneakers inspired by him, or even designed for him, then you know it must be legendary.

The legend of Michael Jordan is reflected with great accuracy in the Fly Unlimited by Nike. Don’t be limited by heavy, bulky shoes that claim to provide excellent stability while bogging you down.

Instead, the Fly Unlimited utilizes a very lightweight upper kept grounded by a full-bootie. The inclusion of a wraparound strap helps keep things secure without over-cluttering.

Keep it all together with the incredible Flight Web lacing system that puts it all into place no matter the tension on the court.

Not to get to “science-y”, but an injected Phylon midsole will also aid lateral movements—there’s nothing this pair can’t do. Stay unlimited with the Jordan Fly Unlimited by Nike. Buy Here

Check out these Jordan Basketball Shorts

8. Nike Men’s Air Max Infuriate

best basketball shoes under $100 - nike 8

 

It’s exactly how you want your opponents to feel after a brutal game of hoops—infuriated.

The Nike Men’s Air Max Infuriate will boost your performance and leave others in the dust.

Stay light and lean without compromising on stability. This pair utilizes a breathable mesh upper with a Full Max Air 180 cushion beneath the heel for extreme support.

Keep rigid with flywire cables that create a nurturing cage for the entire foot.

Extending the full length across the midsole is Phylon foam for extended stability when it matters the most. Indeed, you might find the competition utterly infuriated thanks to this extra edge.

The outsole is made of rubber with a herringbone pattern designed uniquely to maximize traction. All your landings and takeoffs will stay precise and efficient with these sneakers as your backup. Buy Here

 

9. Jordan Men’s Jordan B.Fly

best cheap basketball shoes - jordan 9

Play hard, play great, and don’t compromise on the style. Be fly with the Jordan B.Fly for men. Nike has served up something quite special here, managing to create excellent design with an undeniable fashion statement—and all for a great price.

Stand back in awe as the interlacing design pattern across the upper and midsole encompasses the majority of the sneaker. The trademark Nike Jordan logo is emblazoned across the side.

But let’s talk specs: this is the lightest Jordan model of them all and caters specifically for those who want maximum weightlessness on the court.

Remember that intricate pattern? Well, it’s not just a fashion statement: it also provides a tough, woven system to keep your foot securely contained while remaining flexible.

Additionally, you’ll get incredible layers of support down below thanks to a Nike Zoom Air unit placed conveniently beneath the forefoot.

The inclusion of a shank plate will keep the mid-foot stabilized and create necessary torsional stiffness. With the price, the style, and the comfort—it’s almost too good to be true. Buy Here

 

10. Adidas Men’s Cloudfoam Executor

best basketball shoes under $100 - adidas 10

 

It might sound like a contradiction, but this pair of sneakers by Adidas lives up to the name.

The Cloudfoam Executor will keep you feeling light as air yet lethal as an executor on the court. This pair provides excellent comfort and support.

Aesthetically, you’ll enjoy the 3-Stripes style that’s screen-printed for a truly polished looked.

With an upper comprised of a two-tone mesh, breathability is maximized without compromising on the stability. But the name mentions “Cloudfoam”, and that’s a key feature embedded into the midsole that will make landings feel like falling on a bed of clouds.

In addition, Cloudfoam is placed in the sockliner, providing even more of that soft, supporting structure.

But who says clouds can’t handle some pressure? The sneakers’ rubber outsoles offer incredible traction for any move on the court. Buy Here

Goalrilla FT In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review

 

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Main Features

  • Comes with a tempered glass backboard that is offered in sizes of 54, 60, and 72 inches
  • Height of the Goalrilla FT In-Ground Basketball Hoop can be easily adjusted from 7 and a half feet to 10 feet using an efficient crank mechanism
  • Anchor bolt installation systems allows you to take this hoop with you if you happen to move
  • Pro-style breakaway rim performs up to gym standards and is able to handle dunks with ease
  • One-piece square support pole makes the Goalrilla FT one of the most stable in-ground hoops available
  • Dual extension arms support the backboard minimizing vibrations during shots

Goalrilla FT In-Ground Basketball Hoop Rating:   (9.5 / 10)

Goalrilla is a serious in-ground basketball hoop brand made for serious basketball players.  These in-ground hoops are made with top of the line materials and demand a high price.  Goalrilla’s newest in-ground basketball system, the Goalrilla FT, continues this strong reputation and adds some new features to set the FT apart from some of the past models from Goalrilla.

Backboard

All Goalrilla basketball systems feature tempered glass backboards, and the Goalrilla FT is no different.  What is nice about the FT is that it comes in three different backboard size options: 54 inch, 60 inch, and 72 inches.

Which backboard size to select will depend on your specific needs.  For those looking for a hoop to fit in a smaller space, we’d recommend the 54 inch backboard version.  While smaller, the 54 inch backboard still performs very well and still allows you to practice bank shots.

The 60 and 72 inch versions are best for hoopers that have large spaces and home courts available.  For the vast majority of players, you won’t require more than a 60 inch backboard.  Only those who require a regulation size backboard on their hoop should opt for the largest backboard option.

Rim

The Goalrilla FT features a professional quality breakaway rim.  This rim has a heavy-duty spring that is protected by a steel cover for enhanced safety and protection.  You can expect the this rim to have gym quality feel and performance.

To top it off this rim is able to handle dunking, which is something you will likely be doing since the hoop can be lowered to 7.5 feet.  At that height we can all pretend to be our favorite NBA star.

Support Pole

In my humble opinion, support poles are the most underrated piece of equipment when it comes to recreational basketball hoop quality.  Cheap three piece support poles allow for too much vibration during play and don’t stand up to the test of time.

Thankfully, for those looking to pick up the Goalrilla Ft, you are in luck.  The Goalrilla FT comes with a one-piece square steel support pole that is powder coated to protect from rusting.  One-piece support poles are the best support poles available and are found only on the best in-ground basketball hoops.

With the support pole system comes a bolt anchor system that bolts your hoop to the concrete foundation.  This anchor system comes in handy if you ever need to move your hoop as it makes an in-ground basketball system transportable.  Simply unscrew the bolts, load up the hoop, and go.

Attaching the support pole to the backboard are two wide angle steel arms.  These two arms attach at the horizontal edges of the backboard creating even greater stability than systems that use a more narrow attachment arm design.

Height Adjustment

As with most recreational basketball systems, the Goalrilla FT’s height can be adjusted from 7.5 to 10 feet.  This basketball hoop uses a crank system to adjust the height.  Crank height adjustment systems allow you to adjust a system’s height in infinite increments allowing it to meet your specific needs.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Comes in three different backboard sizes to help meet specific needs and budgets
  • Single piece support pole offers maximum stability
  • Tempered glass backboards are superior to acrylic and polycarbonate options
  • Crank height adjustment system makes raising and lowering the hoop easy
  • Rim is a heavy-duty breakaway unit with enclosed spring

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Padding aligning the backboard and support pole would enhance the safety of the Goalrilla FT Basketball Hoop
  • 54 Inch backboard option still comes in at around $1,400, making the FT too expensive for some

Goalrilla has done it again with the FT in-ground basketball system.  The variety of the backboard sizes coupled with the quality of system makes this one of the best in-ground basketball systems that money can buy.

For those who are set on having backboard and support pole padding, you can purchase this separately.

Similar hoops to the Goalrilla FT include the Goalsetter All-American and the Lifetime Mammoth In-Ground Basketball System.

 

 

 

Lifetime Pool Side Basketball Hoop Review

 

 

Lifetime Pool Side Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime Pool Side Basketball Hoop:  (7 / 10)

Main Features:

  • 44” shatterproof polycarbonate backboard
  • 27-gallon base provides enough stability for this smaller-sized hoop
  • 2-piece “telescoping” pole adjusts from 4 to 6.5 feet
  • UV-resistant ink graphics that won’t fade in the sun
  • Standard steel rim and outdoor nylon net

The Lifetime Pool Side Basketball Hoop: A Durable Hoop for Aquatic Fun

When the sun comes out and the concrete gets too hot, take your game to the pool with the Lifetime 1301 Portable Basketball Hoop. This hoop is specifically designed for poolside use and is built with durability in mind. Although the materials are not top of the line, they are good quality relative to other poolside hoops. All together, the stylish design and durable materials make this a good-looking poolside hoop that provides excellent value.

Backboard and Materials

The backboard is a 44-inch square made of polycarbonate. Many pool style hoops feature a fan style backboard, so the square backboard on the Lifetime 1301 is definitely preferable to many other pool hoops in its class. Of course, the polycarbonate board is not as responsive as glass, but it is extremely durable and shatterproof, which provides some piece of mind should the hoop ever fall over. The bottom edge of the board features a plastic guard for additional safety. Additionally, the backboard graphics are printed in fade resistant ink to keep the hoop looking fresh through years of weathering and use.

Rim

This hoop comes equipped with a standard 18” rim. Even though the hoop itself is miniature (6.5 feet at max height) the rim is regulation size, meaning you can play pool basketball with a full- sized ball, or a miniature ball, if you choose. Just make sure you use a rubber ball in the pool, because a leather ball will become waterlogged, heavy, and could be ruined by the chlorinated water.

Although it is not spring-loaded, the rim can withstand some light dunking, but hanging on the rim is not recommended. Some owners have reported that the hoop may begin to pitch forward after repeated dunking and hanging on the rim.

Assembly

Piecing together the Lifetime Pool Side Portable Hoop is doable for anyone with the time to focus, and of course, step-by-step instructions are included. The smaller size of this hoop makes assembly less cumbersome than a full-sized, 10 ft. portable hoop. Even so, an extra pair of hands is recommended to ensure safe and quick assembly. A good wrench is about the only tool required and assembly should not take more than two hours.

Once the support pole, backboard, and rim are secured to the base, simply fill the basin with your choice of water or sand and wheel into place at your pool’s edge. From there, the telescoping pole may be raised or lowered to the appropriate height, depending on your preference and the depth of your pool.

Warning: Because this hoop lives near water, the steel support pole and rim are prone to rust. Coating all metal pieces in clear spray paint before use is recommended to help prevent rust.

Height Adjustment

The Lifetime 1301 Pool Side Portable Basketball Hoop utilizes a 3” diameter telescoping steel pole that can be adjusted from 4 feet to 6.5 feet, in 6-inch increments. Basically, that means there are two poles, one inside the other, that slide up and down, like a telescope. Simply loosen the screw on the outside of the support pole, move the pole up or down to your desired height, and then retighten the screw.

Although the mechanism is rudimentary, the hoop is easy enough to adjust by hand, with no tools required. And, because the hoop will probably spend most of its time in one location, pool side, at one height, you will not need to constantly adjust the height.

Overall:

The Lifetime 1301 Pool Side Hoop is an excellent option for pool owners who want to bring a little extra fun and competition to their backyard. Obviously, this hoop is not suited as a primary basketball hoop, but it was not designed to be. As a secondary hoop for playing basketball in your pool hot days, this hoop is a great option.

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop:  (7.5 / 10)

Main Features

  • 52″ shatter proof backboard made of polycarbonate material that will protect it from breaking
  • Limited 5 year warranty provided by the manufacturer allows you to buy with confidence
  • Power lift height adjustment system adjusts the height of the basketball hoop from 7.5 feet to 10 feet with single arm mechanism
  • Spring loaded breakaway rim allows for give during shots and light dunking

Lifetime Brand

We’ve done more reviews of Lifetime basketball hoops than any other brand of basketball manufacturer, and for good reason.  Lifetime is one of the most popular basketball manufacturers around today.

Lifetime makes many models, from cheap portable systems to high-end in-ground basketball units that can handle rim rocking slams.  Every Lifetime hoop is built in the USA and comes with a five year warranty providing their customers with great service and support.

Lifetime 71281: Full Review

Backboard

The backboard on the Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop is 52 inches measured diagonally.  This is a medium sized backboard for a recreational in-ground basketball hoop and will meet the needs of most families.  It is steel framed, which enhances the stability and durability of the backboard.

Low cost home hoops like the Lifetime 71281 have a backboard that is made of a polycarbonate material.  This makes the backboard durable and unlikely to break or shatter.  However,  polycarbonate backboards are not very responsive and do not perform particularly well during use.

Height Adjustment

The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop features the Power Lift Height Adjustment mechanism, which makes adjusting the height of this basketball system a breeze.  To adjust the height from the 7.5-10 feet range you simply grip the Power Lift system and lift up to adjust the height down or pull down to lift the height of the hoop higher.  The leverage created by the Power Lift System makes it easy so you don’t need to be He-man to get the job done.

Rim

Many recreational Lifetime basketball hoops such as the 71281 have an exposed spring breakaway rim setup.  This does allow for some light dunking, but we do not recommend hanging on the rim as you could cause damage to the system over time.

Exposed spring breakaway rims have springs that may rust over time due to being exposed to the elements.

Support Pole

Most low-end in-ground basketball hoops have a three-piece support pole and the Lifetime 71281 is no exception.  It has a three-piece rounded support pole with powder coating to help protect it from rusting.

Three-piece support poles are good for recreational use but will allow for more vibration than more expensive two and one piece support pole designs.

What We Like About The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop

  • Power Lift Height Adjustment System makes adjusting the hoop’s height easy for all ages
  • At under $300, this basketball hoop is a great value for the features included
  • Backboard is a relatively good size at 52 inches and has a steel frame to add stability
  • Made in the USA and comes with a five year warranty
  • In-ground basketball hoops offer greater stability and durability than portable units

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • The exposed spring on the breakaway rim is susceptible to rust and is not designed to handle serious dunking
  • Polycarbonate backboard does not perform well and is not particularly responsive
  • Three-piece support pole allows for extra vibrations during shots

The value basketball hoop market is dominated by Lifetime.  Lifetime makes a great product for a low price that simply is hard to beat.  The Lifetime 7182 In-Ground Basketball Hoop is an example of this with its Power Lift Height Adjustment feature and breakaway rim.

If you are truly serious about the game of basketball and don’t just want something to shoot a few baskets on then we suggest you spend a few more bucks on a better basketball hoop.  The Lifetime 71281 is best suited for families who are just looking for a fun activity to do together.

Competitors to the Lifetime 71281 that are worth looking into include the Lifetime 71525 and Spalding 60 Inch In-Ground Basketball Hoop.

 

Pop-A-Shot Basketball Arcade Review

 

All fans of the game of basketball have gone down to their local arcade and been hooked in to the magic that is “Pop-A-Shot”.  These basketball arcade games are fast paced, fun, addictive, and can actually help you develop your basketball skills.

What you might not have realized is that Pop-A-Shot is not the name of the basketball games found in the arcade, but the original brand and inventor of the arcade basketball game back in 1981!  An old college basketball coach was recovering from a surgery and invented the game during his recovery.  It caught on quickly and the Pop-A-Shot brand began selling their basketball arcade to arcades and bars around the country.

However, the company’s growth slowed as competitors came in to the space with cheaper units.  Because of this the iconic Pop-A-Shot brand has begun to develop and sell premium quality basketball arcades meant for home use.  Their newest recreational model, the “Home Dual Shot” hit stores and ecommerce sites recently.  Luckily, we had a chance to check it out and give our take on this new basketball arcade game.

Assembly

The Pop-A-Shot basketball arcade is not the easiest basketball arcade game to put together.  That accolade goes to the 2-Player Sportcraft, however, Pop-A-Shot made their assembly reasonably easy thanks to clear directions.

One thing I would like to see changed in the direction steps is that they should have you place the hoop on the frame earlier in the assembly process.  Pop-A-Shot does not tell you to complete this step until after the frame is set up meaning you have to lift the hoop onto the frame, which is unnecessary.

In the end, it took me around 2 1/2 hours to put this basketball arcade together.  Certainly not a fast process, but the final product is definitely worth it.

Assembled Rim and Backboard

Features of the Pop-A-Shot Basketball Arcade System

Pop-A-Shot Fully Assembled

Let’s start with the quality of the Pop-A-Shot Home Dual Shot Basketball Arcade System compared to other home basketball arcades.  Simply put, the Pop-A-Shot is the highest quality basketball arcade for home use that we have reviewed.

The difference in quality starts with the rims.  Pop-A-Shot Home Dual Shot features two steel rims that may look similar to those found on other units, but they perform much better.  These rims are more firm making it challenging to make shots compared to softer, weaker rims.

A large screen digital scoreboard sits between the two rims attaching to the backboard.  The numbers really pop on this screen and again you can tell that this scoreboard is higher quality than those found on the average home basketball arcade.

We also like the control panel that attaches directly to the frame of the Pop-A-Shot making game selection a breeze.  From this control panel you can do everything including turning the system on and off, game selection, and audio options.

Pop-A-Shot Basketball Arcades come with seven mini basketballs, which is more than the four found with most other basketball arcades.  These are basic rubber basketballs and no different than the mini basketballs found on the lower priced arcades.

Pop-A-Shot Comes With Seven Rubber Mini Basketballs

Game Modes

Ten different game modes can be played on the Pop-A-Shot Dual Home Shot Basketball Arcade.  Here is a summary of each game mode:

  1. Standard Play– Two players get 30 seconds to score as many points as possible.  Last 10 seconds each bucket is worth 3 points
  2. Solo– Same as Standard Play, but single player
  3. Crisscross– Players shot at opponent’s basket.  :30 seconds on the clock.
  4. Skeet Shooting– Announcer says “shoot”.  Player has three seconds to make a basket.  Game continues until player/s fail to make basket in allotted time.
  5. Sharp Shooter– Announcer will says “left” or “right”.  Player has 3 seconds to make basket in corresponding hoop.  Game is over when player fails to make basket in allotted time.
  6. Double of Nothing– A two player game where each consecutive made basket counts as double (2, 4, 8, etc.).  If no basket made within 3 seconds scoring goes back to 2.  :30 seconds on the clock.
  7. Overtime– Same as standard play but with a full minute on the clock
  8. Sudden Death– :15 seconds on the clock, same as standard play
  9. Free Play– No clock, each basket worth 2 points
  10. Team– :30 seconds on the clock, scores of both players added together.

Price

Pop-A-Shot is a top quality home basketball arcade system and its price reflects this fact.  Usually the price comes in around $275, with incremental price increases seen during the holiday season.

Summary

What I Like About The Pop-A-Shot Basketball Arcade System

  1. The best all around quality found on a home basketball arcade system
  2. 10 game modes that make playing fun whether by yourself or with a friend
  3. Control panel allows for easy game selection
  4. Rims are firm making for a greater challenge

What Could Be Better

  1. Price is a relatively expensive compared to other basketball arcades, but you get what you pay for
  2. Would like to see them create an interactive app so that you can play against others across the globe

Sportcraft 2-Player Arcade Basketball Game Review

Last year I reviewed the Shaq Cyber Hoop Shot on BestOutdoorBasketball.net.  This arcade basketball game from Sportcraft featured an Iphone App that allowed players to compete with one another across the globe.  This year I’m taking a closer look at the newer 2-Player Sportcraft Arcade Basketball Hoop Game.

In this review I will breakdown the assembly process, features, and game-modes that come with this basketball arcade system.

If you want to see more about the 2-Player Sportcraft Arcade Basketball Game check out the video review below:

Assembly

The 2-Player Sportcraft Basketball Arcade System is the easiest full-size basketball arcade system to assemble that I’ve reviewed.  You don’t need any tools or screws to put this system together.  In fact, the 2-Player Sportcraft Basketball Arcade System uses pins that click together so that each piece is easily attached.  You can see these pins in the picture below.

The Sportcraft 2-Player arcade basketball hoop uses pins to make assembly a breeze

Sportcraft claims that it only takes 10 minutes to put this system together.  That may be true for someone who is familiar with the system, but for me it took around 20-25 minutes.  Either way, compared to the Shaq Cyber Hoop Shot, which took me 2 hours, this was lightening fast.

The biggest issue I had with assembly was making sure that I didn’t assemble parts backwards, which happened on a couple occasions.  Thankfully, because of the easy to use pins fixing my errors was painless and didn’t cost me much time.

Features of the Sportcraft 2-Player Basketball Arcade System

Rim, backboard, and scoreboard of the Sportcraft 2-Player Arcade Basketball Hoop

The size of this arcade basketball system is noteworthy.  The dimensions are 80″X 46″X 81.5″. For this basketball arcade system to fit in your room you’ll need a ceiling that is at least seven feet tall.  Otherwise you risk the top of the system hitting your ceiling.

With the Sportcraft 2-Player Arcade Basketball System comes two steel rims that are basic, but get the job done.  Last year’s Shaq Cyber Hoop Shot rims had poor welding that let to the rims breaking over time.  Hopefully, Sportcraft has fixed this issue.  Time will tell, and I’ll keep you updated on how the rims hold up after more use.

Between the two rims is a digital scoreboard that keeps track of your score and the time left.  There are a set of buttons that hook to the frame of the hoop that allow you to turn on the basketball system, select the game mode, time, and how many players.

Baskets are counted using plastic levers that are triggered when the ball goes through the hoop.  These are pretty accurate, but may not count a basket if two balls go through the hoop one right after the other.  Overall, it certainly works for the purpose of recreation.

The backboard is a simply plywood materials and nothing special.  But it does a fine job to bounce the basketballs off the backboard and into the hoop with velocity.

The scoreboard is well lit so that you can see your scores and the time left.

This arcade basketball system comes with 4 mini basketballs

Game Modes

The Sportcraft 2-Player Arcade Basketball System comes with eight different game modes included.  To be honest I have not played all of them because I have not had time, but I will explain each of them in detail.

  1. Beat the Clock– Standard arcade basketball game where you try to score as many points as possible in a specific timeframe.  Buckets are worth 3 points in the last 10 seconds.
  2. Beat the Clock,  3 Point Version– Same as Beat the Clock, but each bucket is worth 3 points throughout.
  3. Battle Back– This game requires 2 players.  Basically each time you make a basket, your opponent loses points.  So if you score you get 2 points and you opponents gets -2.  First player to 10 points wins.
  4. HORSE– The same game that millions grew up playing in their driveways.
  5. Check Point– Players have to score a certain number of points in a specific time to continue playing.  There are 4 levels with ascending point targets (24, 52, 68, and 86).
  6. Around the World– Allows you to shoot from 5 different areas and will stop the clock once 10 points are made.  The players who makes the 5 shots in the shortest amount of time wins.
  7. Left and Right– Alternate between the home and visit baskets and score as many points as possible in a specific time.
  8. One to One– Each player will play a round individually and the player with the highest point total wins.

Price

This arcade basketball system is very affordable and priced in the $105 range.  Compared to other similar arcade basketball systems, such as the Lifetime Double Shot, this price is a steal.  Because of this if you are on a tighter budget then be sure to consider the Sportcraft 2-Player Arcade Basketball System.

Summary

What I Like About The Sportcraft 2-Player Basketball Arcade System

  1. The easiest arcade basketball system to assemble that I’ve ever reviewed
  2. At around $105 it is very affordable compared to similar basketball arcade systems
  3. Allows you to play certain game modes with up to 4 players
  4. Comes with 8 different game modes

What Could Be Better

  1. I wish this arcade basketball hoop was compatible with the Cyber Hoop Shot App which makes playing a lot more fun and interactive
  2. Sometimes the scoreboard does not work properly (malfunctions)

Lifetime 73650 Backboard and Rim Combo Kit Review

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 73650 Backboard and Rim Combo Rating:  (9.8 / 10)

Main Features

  • Compatible with most Lifetime basketball systems as a functional hoop replacement
  • Can be mounted to a pole or wall using the universal mounting kit
  • One of the most affordable basketball hoop options on the market
  • Comes with a five year limited warranty included
  • 44 Inch shatterproof backboard is great for recreational games and families

Back in the day most recreational basketball hoops were mounted to the garage.  Nowadays it is hard to even find a hoop for sale that can be mounted in this way.  Thankfully Lifetime makes the Lifetime 73650 backboard and rim combo kit for those who still prefer a wall mounted hoop.

A Great Hoop for Any Budget

The Lifetime 73650 is also perfect for those who are on a tight budget.  At under one hundred dollars, this is a great choice for any family who simply wants to experience the game of basketball in the convenience of their own home.

The backboard on the Lifetime 71650 is 44 inches and made from a combination of both acrylic and polycarbonate components.  There certainly is some vibration with this backboard due to its cheaper materials, but gets the job done if you just want to shoot baskets.

The rim is pretty nice considering the affordable price point of the Lifetime 73650.  It comes with two exposed springs to offer some protection from dunks.  Although the spring is helpful we do not recommend dunking on this basketball hoop as it is not designed to take heavy punishment.

One downside to the Lifetime 73650 is that it does not come with a mounting bracket.  If you need a mounting bracket you will need to buy on separately, which can be found here.  While we know not including the mounting bracket makes the hoop cheaper, we feel that Lifetime should just include this piece as it is important for most people who buy this hoop.

Every Lifetime basketball hoop is made in the USA, which offers an extra “feel good” bonus to your purchase.  Lifetime is a great company and they make solid products all around.  You can see more of our Lifetime basketball hoop reviews here.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • One of the few wall mount recreational basketball hoops that are for sale today
  • At its price, the Lifetime 73650 is very affordable for families
  • Backboard is super durable and unlikely to break even with rough play
  • Double spring rim is pretty nice for this basketball hoop

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Should come with the mounting bracket included to keep buyers from having to make two purchases
  • 44 inch backboard is very small and will limit bank shot opportunities

For those who want a hoop to mount to their garage or another wall without spending a fortune, then the Lifetime 73650 is for you.  While it is not perfect, it is priced right and works very well for families and others just looking to shoot some hoops.

If you would like to check out another wall mount basketball hoop then we recommend checking out the Spalding 54-Inch Backboard and Rim Combo.

 

Best Pool Basketball Hoops of 2018

One of the best days of the year is being able to take the cover off of the pool after a long winter and getting everything set up to have family and friends over for awesome summer get togethers.

If you are basketball buff and a pool owner then a great way to entertain your family or guests is to invest in a pool basketball hoop.

Pool basketball hoops provide hours of fun while allowing you to remain cool in the hot summer weather.

With so many pool basketball hoops available to buy it can be overwhelming deciding on which hoop is right for your pool.  That is why we have compiled our top five pool basketball hoops so that you can get a great hoop on any budget.  Whether you plan to spend $20 or $200, there are great options that offer loads of fun.

Top 6 Pool Basketball Hoops

 

Best Cheap Pool Basketball Hoops (<$100)

Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop

Our first entry in the cheap pool basketball hoop list is the Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop.

Coming in under $25 this is great pool basketball hoop for those who just want to have a hoop to play with in the pool and are not looking for a full-size basketball experience.

The Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop is inflated so that it floats on top of the water allowing you to shoot from anywhere in the pool.

The Length, width, and height of this pool basketball hoop is 24.4″ x 24.4″ x 20.47″.  Basketball and carry bag are included.

 

Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop

Stumptown Sportz has created a great inflatable pool basketball hoop that is a level up from the Coop Swimways Hoop we reviewed above.

The Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop is 44 inches tall and 40 inches wide, making it a good size.  It is inflatable as well and will sit on top of the water while in use.

The Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop also comes with a lot of extras including two mini basketballs, an air pump with needles, and a carry pouch.

At around $40, the Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop is more expensive than the Coop Swimways, but you do get a lot more for your money.  Overall, you can’t go wrong with this hoop.

Poolmaster Pro Rebounder Pool Basketball Hoop

Our most expensive pool basketball hoop on the cheap list is the Poolmaster Pro Rebounder.  This hoop is right under the $100 mark and perfect for those who want to spend a little more money for a better hooping experience.

The Poolmaster is the first pool basketball hoop on our list that is not inflatable.  It actually has a fill base that you fill with water or sand and place on the deck or cement on the side of your pool.  If you don’t have a deck or other level area around your pool then this hoop will likely not work.

We consider the Poolmaster Rebounder Pro Pool Basketball Hoop to be the first “real” pool basketball hoop on our list and if you have a little extra to spend it is well worth the price.

 

High-End ($>100)

Dunnrite PoolSport Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop

Our first entry into the high(er)-end of pool basketball hoops is the Dunnrite PoolSport Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop.

This pool basketball hoop has a water fill base that attaches directly to the backboard.  The fill base helps to keep the hoop stable and upright, but we do not recommend dunking on the Dunnrite as it could still tip and cause injury.

On the plus side, the Dunnrite is the first pool basketball hoop entry that has a full size rim.  This allows you to use real basketballs in the pool if you choose.

The bottom line is that the Dunnrite Pool Basketball Hoop is a great choice if you want a real basketball experience in your pool without breaking the bank.

 

Lifetime 1301 Pool Side Basketball System

We have reviewed many Lifetime basketball hoops on bestbasketballhoops.org over the years.  For those that are unfamiliar, Lifetime is a popular manufacturer of recreational basketball hoops that are generally friendly on your wallet.

The Lifetime 1301 Pool Side Basketball System continues this tradition as it costs right around the $150 mark as of this writing.

With the Lifetime 1301 you get a 44 inch backboard and a height adjustment mechanism that allows you to adjust the height of the Lifetime 1301 from 4 feet to 6.5 feet.  This makes it a more versatile choice than some of the other pool basketball hoops on this list.

Lifetime also used a rust resistant coating on the metal pieces to help ensure a long lifespan for this basketball hoop. This along with the other features makes the Lifetime 1301 Pool Basketball System a great choice for any pool owner.

Dunnrite Splash and Shoot Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop

Our second entry from Dunnrite is the Splash and Shoot Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop.

This hoop is a more expensive alternative to the Dunnrite Pool Sport is full of features and quality components.

The Splash and Shoot features a 43 inch by 28.5 inch polycarbonate backboard that will not break.  It also has a telescoping pole that allows you to adjust the height of the hoop so that it will be a perfect fit in your specific pool setup.

When filled with water the Dunnrite Splash and Shoot weighs in at 200 pounds making it a secure pool basketball hoop.

 

5 Best Outdoor Basketballs for 2018

If you play a lot of basketball outside during the warm months of the year then you know how much a crappy outdoor basketball can take away from a shooting session.  Cheap outdoor basketballs tend to be made of rubber which is hard material when inflated.  Rubber basketballs also have a tendency to warp over time, which leads to off center bounces.

With summer fast approaching we’ve decided to do some research and give you our picks for the five best outdoor basketballs. This way when you go to the courts you know you’ve got one of the best outdoor basketballs that money can buy.

Five Best Outdoor Basketballs

Each of the basketballs listed below are technically categorized as indoor/outdoor basketballs.  For this article any basketball that can be used outdoors is considered an outdoor basketball.

Spalding Replica Game Basketball

At the top of our list of the five best outdoor basketball is the Spalding Replica Game Basketball.  This basketball has received a lot of positive feedback from other review sites as well, and there are plenty of reasons why this basketball is considered one of the best.

First off, the feel of the Spalding Replica is different than any other indoor/outdoor basketball that we’ve used.  It is softer and more closely mimics the feel of an indoor basketball.

Due to the extra soft cover of the Spalding Replica the feel of this basketball exceeds many other outdoor basketballs.  Also of note is that the Spalding Replica has a very consistent bounce, which is another characteristic not seen in other outdoor basketballs.

Coming in at a price of around $30, the Spalding Replica Game Basketball is affordable.  With this combination of quality and affordability, the Spalding Replica Game Basketball finds itself as one of the best outdoor basketballs that one can buy.

Pros

  • Affordable for almost any budget
  • The softest cover of any outdoor basketball that we’ve tested
  • Bounce performance is consistent without many “off” bounces

Cons

  • Softer cover may mean that this basketball will scuff faster than outdoor basketballs with a tougher cover

Under Armour 495

Under Armour is the new kid on the block when it comes to basketballs and basketball apparel.  UA really hit the scene when Steph Curry ascended into basketball superstardom while wearing Under Armour sneakers.

Within the last few years Under Armour has unveiled several basketballs that are meant for indoor and outdoor use.

The best of the bunch when it comes to Under Armour basketballs is the UA 495 with “Gripskin”.

While we don’t know much about gripskin, we can say that the Under Armour 495 performs well.  It does seem to be quite similar to many Spalding basketballs in terms of the feel of the cover.

The channel design of the UA 495 is fairly traditional.  They are not too deep or wide, which will probably make this outdoor basketball better for basketball purists.

The price of the UA 495 is similar to the Spalding Replica Game Basketball.  While we prefer the Spalding Replica, if you are a fan of Under Armour, or do not care for Spalding products then the 495 will likely be your best choice.

Pros

  • Price point is affordable at around $30
  • Channel design is traditional which we prefer

Cons

  • Still no idea what “Gripskin” is but the cover is pretty standard

Spalding TF-500 


My favorite basketball growing up was the old Spalding TF-1000 indoor basketball.  The composite cover on the ball was the softest and it felt great in my hands.

Spalding has continued the tradition of the TF line of basketballs with the indoor/outdoor Spalding TF-500.  This basketball brings the quality of the TF-1000 to the playground.

Compared to the TF-1000, the TF-500 has a more durable cover.  This also means that the cover on the TF-500 is not as soft as the one found on the TF-1000.

Having used this basketball recently I can say with confidence that it performs very well.  The Spalding TF-500 bounces consistently and feels good in your hands.

Pros

  • Carries on the tradition of the Spalding TF line of basketballs
  • Probably the best outdoor basketball in terms of the balance between durability and feel

Cons

  • No obvious cons or weaknesses for the Spalding TF-500

Baden Contender Basketball

Baden may be a name that you are not familiar with, but you should be.  Baden makes some really good basketballs that are worth you consideration if you are looking to buy a new outdoor basketball.

Their Baden Contender basketball makes our list due to several factors.  First, the cover of this basketball is consistent and durable.  It may not be the softest, but the cover is made from high quality composite and will last.

The bladder of the Contender is also a strength as this basketball holds air well and will not give any weird bounces.  This is one of the most consistent performing outdoor basketballs that can be purchased.

We also like that the air valve for the Contender is recessed so that only the actual hole is visible.  This works to eliminate any weird bounces that can sometimes happen when the ball valve hits the ground during a dribble.

Pros

  • The unique valve system means that you won’t get any weird bounces if the air valve hits the ground during a dribble
  • All around consistent performance

Cons

  • Some users say the cover feels a bit too much like rubber

Wilson Wave Basketball

Want an outdoor basketball with maximum grip?  Then look no further than the Wilson Wave.  This basketball actually has extra grip channels that run the entire cover of the basketball.  Combine this with deep and extra wide channels and you have an outdoor basketball unlike any other.

I must say that playing with the Wilson Wave is unlike any basketball I’ve experienced.

These extra channels can also make shooting with increased rotation easier.

On the flip side, using the Wilson Wave does take some getting used to as it just feels different compared to other basketballs.  Personally, I prefer a more traditional channel design to the radically numerous and wide channels found on the Wilson Wave.

Pros

  • The Wilson Wave has the best grip out of all the best outdoor basketballs on this list
  • Cover has good durability and feel
  • May get more rotation on shots

Cons

  • The channel design of the Wilson Wave is polarizing.  Some will like this basketball a lot while others will be turned off by the extra channels.

Adidas All-Court Basketball

The final basketball to make our list is the Adidas All-Court Basketball.

While Adidas does make basketball shoes and apparel, many do not even know that Adidas makes a basketball.  But they do, and it is actually a pretty darn good one.

The All-Court features a cover that is soft but durable.  You will be able to get a good feel for this basketball and most will like how it performs.

The only downside to the Adidas All-Court is that it does have some off center bounces.  While rare, it can still effect your dribbling.

 

Pros

  • Quality cover and above average feel
  • Traditional channel design that speaks to the philosophy of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

Cons

  • Does get some rare off center bounces that can impact your ability to effectively dribble the basketball

Tips For Making Your Outdoor Basketball Last

When buying an outdoor basketball, you can expect that it won’t last as long as a properly cared for indoor basketball. This is because outdoor basketballs are put through a lot more beatings due to being used on asphalt, cement, and even gravel.

But just because you will use your outdoor basketball on many different surfaces doesn’t mean that it can’t last for several years with a few simple steps to prolong your basketball’s life.

1. Avoid Gravel If You Can

When using an outdoor basketball it is best to play on asphalt or cement.

Sure, outdoor basketballs can be used on gravel, but we would recommend avoiding doing so if possible.  Gravel is a very uneven and rough surface which can warp the badder of a basketball if consistently used on this surface.

Aim to use your outdoor basketball on either cement or asphalt when outdoors.

2. Rinse the Basketball After Each Use

When using a basketball outdoors things like little pebbles and other debris can easily get stuck in the channels.  By rinsing the basketball off after use it ensures that this debris is washed away and doesn’t create permanent damage to the ball.

3. Keep The Basketball Inflated

There is nothing more damaging to a basketball than allowing it to go flat repeatedly.  This puts strain on the bladder of the basketball and leads to warping.  Be sure to inflate your basketball regularly so that you can avoid these complications.

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