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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.


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.


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.


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

5 Basketball Training Tips

Training and conditioning is just as important as working on your shot in basketball.  The truth is that if you are not in shape you won’t have the physical capacity to use your skills to the highest degree.  Think about it; if you are out of breath are you as likely to make a three pointer or will it end up hitting the front of the rim?

1. Treat Your Body Right

Basketball training today looks a lot different than it did in the past.  I mean just take a look at a couple things related to Larry Bird’s living habits.  The dude literally put together his mother’s driveway even though he was a multimillionaire.  Not only that, but he injured his back in the process which effectively ended his career.  Can you image Lebron James building an driveway on his free time?

Now we are not saying that you shouldn’t be willing to do manual labor, but we are saying that you should make sure you are physically prepared to do any demanding task.

2. Nutrition Matters, A Lot

Larry Legend also had some poor eating habits during his playing career.

These days the best players in the world take care of their body in a way that past generations didn’t even consider.  Take a look at Lebron’s diet.  This guy takes inventory on everything that goes into his body, and for good reason.  Food is the fuel of the body.  If you are putting in a bunch of processed pizza pockets than you can be sure your body will not perform optimally.

For basketball players make sure you are getting a good deal of healthy fats, which can come from things like coconut oil, avocados, and nuts.  Do not eat too many carbs, and make sure to get plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables which have important vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling your best.

3. Focus On Functional Strength

In the old days guys would hit the bench press and just do rep after rep thinking this was going to prepare them for game time.

But if you want to be the best basketball player possible you need to work on strengthening the muscles most utilized in basketball.  This means your focus should be on building a solid core, meaning your abs, back, and hips.  Quads and hamstrings should be strengthen threw quick and explosive movement exercises like those in the Vert Shock Program.

Exercises that involved jumping and other types of interval training are always good for basketball players.

4. Meditate

Meditation has so many great properties that enhance athletic performance.  Mindfulness meditation helps to decrease anxiety allowing basketball players to focus in on the present moment.  This is incredibly powerful when you are in a late game situation and you are expected to rise up to the occasion.  If you have yourself mentally prepared for the moment then the moment won’t overwhelm you.

5. Have a Method to Your Practice

I see too many players when they practice not have any rhyme or reason for what they do.  They willy nilly take shots and slowly get their rebound and shot again, and again and again.

Have a plan for each practice session.  If you are working on dribbling make sure to have 5 or so drills that you can do at full speed.  If you notice you are a weaker shooter from a certain spot on the court then work on it!  If you need to work on passing and vision, then work on not telegraphing your passes.

Is The Vert Shock Program a Scam?

Want to Dunk?

Alright guys, one of the most popular things I get asked about is how to improve your vertical jump in the hopes of being able to dunk.  The truth is that we all want to be like our NBA heroes who seem to defy gravity as they levitate through the air with ease.  Don’t you want to do that?  Well, I know I do.

While you may want to dunk, not all of us can or will.  There are several players in the NBA who can’t dunk right now, so dunking is not a must have skill to play at the highest level.  At the same time having as high of a vertical jump as you possibly can help your game tremendously as you’ll be able to get more shots off over the extended arms of defenders.

How to Improve Your Vertical: Vert Shock?

Whether you can touch the rim and want to take your vertical to the next level so you can dunk, or if you just want a better vertical to improve your game the answer may lie in the Vert Shock Program.

Vert Shock is a vertical jumping program that was created by Adam Folker, a former division I collegiate basketball player who now plays professional basketball overseas.  The focus of the Vert Shock program is to use plyometric workouts at 100% explosive effort to build your fast twitch muscles fibers and optimize your central nervous system for jumping.

What is nice about the workouts in Vert Shock is that they can be done within the comfort of your home and do not require you go to a gym.  What is most important is that you do the workouts faithfully and totally commit to the 8 week long program.

There are plenty of testimonials on YouTube that show the positive results that users of the Vert Shock program have achieved.  While I’m always a bit weary of testimonials in general, I think you’ll find that the majority of these testimonials for Vert Shock appear authentic.

Here is one in particular that I feel is genuine.

You can definitely tell it is the same guy.  While there is no way to be 100% sure he wasn’t dogging it on the first part of video it does look like he was giving full effort.

Vert Shock Explained

Vert Shock Exercise Video

As I mentioned previously, Vert Shock was created by Adam Folker as a way for anyone to improve their vertical jumping ability by up to 9 to 15 inches. Within the program there are three main sections: Pre-Shock, Shock, and Post-Shock. Each of these phases has a specific goal and purpose all of which are designed to help you reach your vertical jumping goals.

There are also some valuable bonus materials that Adam includes in your Vert Shock purchase, which include articles on things that can hurt your vertical, as well as an advanced vertical training workout sheet that can be used after you complete the 8-week Vert Shock program.  FYI, the advanced vertical training workout does require gym equipment and you’ll likely need to go to the gym to perform the exercises.  For most the core Vert Shock program will suffice.

Phase 1: Pre-Shock

Vert Shock’s Pre-Shock Interface

The Pre-Shock phase of Vert Shock really gets things going as you’ll be doing many of the exercises that you’ll get familiar with over the 8-week period.  The goal of Pre-Shock is to begin building your fast-twitch muscle fibers while minimizing the risk of injury while your body adapts to the volume of jumping and explosive movements.

Another goal of the Pre-Shock phase is to build your core, which if yours has been neglected will be an important factor in creating a higher vertical jump.  You will be working out six of seven days during the Pre-Shock phase of Vert Shock.

After this week you may find that you have added a couple inches to your vertical, which is pretty damn cool for just one week of work.

Phase 2: Shock

Welcome to the bulk of the Vert Shock program.  The Shock phase consists of 6 weeks of workouts that follow a consistent format.  Generally you’ll have 4 to 5 days of working out and 2 to 3 days of recovery and rest.  To see optimum results you should follow the program specifically and do not workout on your recovery days.  Sore and fatigued muscles require rest so that they can rebuild and become stronger.

We have found that the main focus of the plyometric exercises is to do each one with maximum explosiveness.  Go 100% each time.  This is why the Vert Shock program gives you ample rest between sets.  They want you to be fully recovered so you can give the next set everything you got.

At the beginning, 4th week, and 8th week you will do a vertical test to see your results.  We recommend not testing it more than this or you may become discouraged if you don’t see the results that you are hoping for immediately.

Phase 3: Post-Shock

The final phase of the Vert Shock program is the Post-Shock phase.  This phase is pretty freaking intense as you will work out 6 of 7 days during the 1 week phase period.  By this point you should be much stronger in your core and lower body after having completed 7 weeks of Vert Shock.

Post-Shock will max you out so that once you get a chance to recover you will see the maximum amount of increase in your vertical possible.

Extra Features in Vert Shock

Vert Shock Bonuses

As part of the Vert Shock program you get a maintenance program that you do once a week after you have finished the Vert Shock program.  This maintenance program will help you keep your vertical jumping gains over the long-term so that you don’t lose what you worked hard to get.

You’ll also get short articles or “ebooks” on things that hurt your vertical jump, five secrets to jumping higher, and a nutrition tips sheet.  Nutrition in particular is an often overlooked factor in maximizing athletic performance, but it should be in the forefront of your mind as you progress through Vert Shock.

Probably the most valuable extra included in the Vert Shock program is the Complex Training Techniques “Ebook”.  This workout program offers vertical training technique using weights, and is best utilized after you’ve completed the 8 week Vert Shock course.  Having these complex training techniques allow you to go even further with your vertical training once you are done with the Vert Shock program.

Vert Shock Summary

Overall, Vert Shock is a valuable tool for anyone looking to increase their vertical.  The exercises and workouts are logically setup and work the muscle groups most needed in maximizing your jumping power.

Is Vert Shock a Scam?

While Vert Shock makes some bold marketing claims, it is not a scam.

Being that this is the question asked in the title of this article we feel we should address this thoroughly.  Vert Shock is not a scam.  It is a legit plyometric program that is designed to enhance your jumping.  If you do the program with maximum effort you will no doubt see improvements in your vertical jump.

That being said some of Vert Shock’s marketing and claims in their advertisements may be a bit over the top.  Not everyone who uses Vert Shock will be able to dunk.  The truth is that we all have different athletic limits and abilities.  For example, two people could both have a 20 inch vertical at the beginning of the program.  At the end one of Vert Shock, one participant’s vertical may have grown 15 inches and they can now jump 35 inches in the air.  On the flip side, the other participant may only gain 5 inches and now has a 25 inch vertical.  The first participant can now dunk, while the second participant can only touch the rim.

Our point here is that genetics matter.  Work hard and you will certainly see improvement, but don’t expect to be doing 360 jams and you’ll be less likely to be disappointed.  By increasing your vertical you will increase your performance on the court, period.  You’ll be more explosive and a better finisher when driving to the hoop, dunking or not.

How Much Does Vert Shock Cost?

The original price of Vert Shock was $200, which we feel is a bit expensive.  Thankfully, this price has been dropped to the much more reasonable $67.  At this price almost anyone who wants a quality program to improve their vertical jumping can afford to get Vert Shock.

What We Like About Vert Shock

  1. We really like that each of the workouts can done in your own home with just a couple pieces of gym equipment like step boxes, a foam roller, and a medicine ball.
  2. At $67, the Vert Shock program is a good value considering how much your vertical will improve.
  3. The videos of the exercise videos are in high-definition and crystal clear.
  4. The work load and time required for the Vert Shock program is reasonable.

What We Don’t Like

  1. Marketing is a little misleading, not everyone who takes the program will be able to dunk afterward (and that’s okay).
  2. Should offer more extensive advice on nutrition to give more guidance.

Final Word

We don’t have many bad things to say about Vert Shock.  We understand the concerns about it being a scam, but thankfully those are unfounded.  If you are on the fence about purchasing the program and want to increase your vertical, we say go for it.  You’ll no doubt improve your game.  And for those who can touch the rim, but can’t dunk, the Vert Shock program will more than likely get you dunking in 8 weeks.

Three Basketball Training Products Worth the Money

How to Know What to Buy

Back in the day, players like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Dr. J, and others didn’t have any special training or tools to use.  They simply played the game constantly and had a never ending desire to improve.  However, today there are so many basketball and basketball training products that we’ve lost count.  The truth is, that many of these training products are a waste of money and you’d be better off doing drills with a basketball and a home hoop.

Just because most of these products stink doesn’t mean they are all worthless. In this post we are going to present to you three basketball training products that you should feel confident about dropping a few dollar bills on.  Every single one of these products significantly improves or helps to improve a specific basketball skill.


We have already done an in depth review of the POWERHANDZ basketball training gloves on our parent site  Be sure to check it out if you are interested in picking a pair up because I discuss a lot of the details related to the gloves and how they helped me be a more proficient ball handler.

The basic idea of the POWERHANDZ gloves is to minimize the amount of grip you can get on the ball making dribbling more difficult.  There are also small weights on the outside of the glove that make the muscles that are used during dribbling work a bit harder.

Having personally used and tested this product I can say that
without a doubt these gloves work!  After using POWERHANDZ a few times you’ll notice that you can dribble the basketball harder and control it with greater ease.

2. Elevation Training Mask

While our second pick is not specifically a basketball training, it is certainly one to consider if you are conditioning for the upcoming season.  The Elevation Training Mask works by limiting the amount of oxygen you breath in making it feel similar to being in a high elevation environment.  By training with lower oxygen levels, your body adjusts and stamina is improved, so when you have access to the typical oxygen environment you will be able to non-stop while your opponents are bent over gasping for air.

In my opinion, strength and stamina are just as important as skill when it comes to basketball.  Using this mask will help you get the most out of your skill set.

3. Home Basketball Shot Trainer

Obviously shooting is one of the single most important skills for basketball.  There have been many basketball players who have made it to the NBA on their shooting alone (here’s looking at you Steve Kerr).  Every team needs a shooter, why not be yours.

To become a great shooter not only do you need to develop proper mechanics, but you have to repeat those mechanics over and over by shooting every day you can.  The Airborne Athletics Ic3 Home Basketball Shot Trainer is the best shooting trainer for a recreational home basketball hoop that we have found.

This home basketball training has a large net that captures both made and missed shots and then feeds the ball through a shoot
and then on a track that rolls the ball back to where you shot the ball from.  This allows you to get a greater volume of shots without having to be constantly chasing down rebounds, which can be a real pain in the ass when shooting by yourself.

Here Are The Best Arcade Basketball Games in 2018

With the holidays right around the corner it is time to start thinking about what gifts you are going to be getting for your loved ones.  If you are visiting this site it is safe to assume that you or another person close to you is a fan of the sport of basketball.  Given this a great gift for basketball fans and players alike is an arcade basketball game.  They offer interactive gameplay with family and friends and can even help you develop your skills.

While these arcade basketball games are not cheap, they are fairly reasonably priced for what you get.  They generally range in price from $100 to over $250.  We find this to be quite affordable when you consider what you are getting for the money.

Another factor to consider when deciding to buy an arcade basketball game is the size of the unit and the space in your house.  These things are not small and will take up a lot of room.  So, for those living in a small space we recommend not buying an arcade basketball game.

For the rest of you we have selected four arcade basketball systems that are the best available.  Click on the “See Amazon Price” button for each to see the basketball system’s Amazon product page.

1. Shaq Cyber Hoop Shot

amazon-shaq-picFirst up on our list on our best arcade basketball game is the Shaq Cyber Hoop Shot.  This basketball arcade game has changed the game of recreational basketball entertainment by allowing you to compete against others with this arcade hoop from around the globe.

This is done by way of Bluetooth and your smartphone or tablet.  The folks behind Shaq Cyber Hoop Shot have brilliantly created an app that goes with the arcade and allows you to connect to the scoreboard.


The Front Menu of the Hoop Shot Online App

Not only can you play against others virtually, but you can also compete against yourself through the single player games that are available on the app.  This includes the standard “Arcade” mode, where you try to score as many points as possible over four one minute quarters.  There is also “Single Ball” mode where you make as many shots as you can in a row.  Finally, you have “Training” mode where you can compete against the computer for a minute period.

We also love the ranking and achievements features that show you how you compare to other players and also allow you to see your progress over time.

The arcade itself is also of good quality.  There are two hoops and a scoreboard with LED display.  The only weakness is the plastic, spring-loaded scoring sensors.  We prefer to see these arcade basketball games with infrared scoring sensors that are less likely to give false-positives and false-negatives.

Overall, this is a great, and innovative arcade basketball system that takes basketball entertainment to a new virtual level.

BestBasketballHoops Rating: (9.5 / 10)

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2. Lifetime Double-Shot Basketball Arcade

lifetime-double-shotOur second pick comes from Lifetime, which is a leading manufacturer in Made in the USA portable basketball systems.  Most of the hoops that Lifetime produces are affordable but have a good quality for the money.  Thankfully, the Double-Shot Arcade is in the same category.

While you don’t get the interconnectivity of the Shaq Cyber Hoop Shot, which is a big drawback, the Double-Shot does have some important pros.  Most of all is that this basketball arcade utilizes infrared scoring sensors, which are more accurate than the plastic spring-loaded sensors found on the Shaq Cyber Hoop.  You can be sure with the Double-Shot that each basket will get counted.

There are different game modes you can play with the Double-Shot as well so you and your family will be able to have fun competing against each other.

Lastly, the rims on the Double-Shot Arcade Basketball System are the best we’ve seen. Very heavy-duty and sturdy, which is a big plus when it comes to the enjoyment of the game.

Read Full Review

BestBasketballHoops Rating: (8.8 / 10)

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3. HLC Sports Double Shot Arcade Basketball System

hlc-sports-double-shotIf you don’t have the ability to play others virtually, then having as many game options as possible to play against friends and family is important to keep things fresh.  The HLC Sports Arcade Basketball System has 8 distinct multi-player modes that allow you to compete against other in different ways.

The two rims on this arcade are quality with 1.5″ steel frame construction.  These I find to be your standard rims, not the best, but certainly not the lowest quality either.

As for negatives, several users commented that the assembly for this arcade hoop is a real challenge due to directions that are unclear.  This can make things frustrating before you even get to use your new arcade system.  Overall, we found the Shaq Cyber Shot Hoop to be very clear in comparison to the HLC Sports Double Shot.

BestBasketballHoops Rating: (7.3 / 10)

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4. Atomic Deluxe Basketball Shootout

atomic-deluxeThe last selection is certainly not lacking when compared to other arcade basketball systems.  The Atomic Deluxe Basketball Shootout comes from Escalade Sports, which may be a name you are unfamiliar with.  However, some of their other brands will be familiar such as the Silverback and Goalrilla lines of premium quality in-ground basketball hoops.  If you know anything about these brands, then you know Escalade is committed to quality.

We love the looks of this arcade basketball game compared to the others on this list.  It has sharp blue colors over a black background on the backboard, which just looks cool.  From a quality and features standpoint, the Atomic Deluxe most resembles the Lifetime Double-Shot Basketball Arcade.  Each have infrared scoring and are similar in size.

With the Atomic Deluxe you get four mini-basketballs as well as an air pump so that you don’t have to miss any action if you get a flat basketball or two.

However, at the end of the day we prefer the Lifetime Double-Shot to the Atomic Deluxe, because the former just does everything a bit better than the latter.  With that in mind you can pick up the Atomic Deluxe for about $50 less than the Lifetime Double-Shot, so if you want to save a little bit the Atomic Deluxe could be the right choice for you.

BestBasketballHoops Rating: (7.3 / 10)

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Brief Review of the Lifetime 1268 Basketball Hoop

Lifetime 1268 Basketball HoopLifetime 1268 Streamline Impact Portable Basketball System:  (3 / 10)

Main Features

  • 5 year warranty
  • Three piece telescoping pole allows for height adjustment
  • Adjusts in height from 7.5 feet to 10 feet
  • 44 inch backboard
  • Attaches to 12 gallon roller base

When shopping for a portable basketball system for your home, price is usually a factor that comes into play, along with quality, durability, and looks. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, a great option for you is the Lifetime 1268 Streamline Impact Portable Basketball System. Solidly in the low priced category, the 1268 makes an average starter hoop for your family, and allows you hours of play and tons of shots without a load of money to spend. However, remember that paying a lower price can sometimes sacrifice quality and other features.

Let’s take a look at some of the features included with the Lifetime 1268 Streamline Impact Portable Basketball system. While the price point is low, you might have to sacrifice some of the features and quality that you would find in other hoops. This hoop features a 44 inch backboard, which is constructed with a high-density polyethylene. While it is not the strength of an aluminum or Makrolon backboard, for the price this polyethylene can handle the job for most players with moderate use. The backboard has colored graphic details, and is UV protected for the color to last. Lifetime claims that the backboard can hold up through moderate use, and offers their 5 year warranty to back that claim up.Lifetime 1268 Basketball Rim

Like many other portable basketball systems, the Lifetime 1268’s hoop height can be raised and lowered according to your needs. The hoop can be adjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in 6 inch increments; we found the hoop to be easy to raise by teens and adults, although children would likely need some help. Despite having an easily moveable hoop, the hoop and pole are seen to be weak and flimsy,

The base of a portable basketball system is of great importance, as a good base allows the hoop to stay strong through high winds and weather, as well as tough games with minimal shaking. The Lifetime 1268 comes with a mere 12 gallon base which can be filled with sand or water; while this provides a lightweight and easily portable hoop, the weight of 12 gallons of water or sand cannot withstand vigorous play. Some mentioned it leaked water when filled, and others talked of the cheap, thin plastic of which it is constructed.

For the most part, assembly of the Lifetime 1268 Portable Basketball system can be difficult and too time consuming; multiple reviewers stated that they needed more than one person to successfully assemble this hoop, and that at times there were parts missing. Lifetime features helpful customer service if you come upon missing pieces or questions, and their 5 year limited warranty comes into play on many of the pieces and parts.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Made in USA
  • Five year warranty is provided by Lifetime for this hoop so that you can buy with confidence
  • Nice range of height with maneuverability
  • Great price point for those wanting a starter hoop

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Easier assembly instructions would aide in the time consuming assembly process
  • A better, more quality base that provides a more sturdy foundation with a heavier weight
  • More protection around the backboard
  • Thicker pole for more durability and strength
  • A backboard made of a more high-quality material

A better starter hoop choice in our opinion is the Spalding Pro Slam Portable Basketball Hoop.  It is more expensive, but still affordable and a much better hoop system.