Whether you want it for your kid or yourself, a top-notch basketball hoop will most likely last for years and give you plenty of fun – whether you shoot some balls or play against friends.
Imagine coming home after a long day at work. Sure, you are exhausted, but nothing will relax you better than shooting hoops in your own garden while having a few drinks next to you.
Choosing the best in-ground basketball hoop is difficult with so many options, not to mention the alternative of portable hoops – decent if you need flexibility, but shaky and not very stable.
In this article, I aim to help you find the best hoop for your outdoor fun. I will introduce you to the top-rated hoops on the market and explain what makes each of them stand out.
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Why it stands out
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Goalrilla FT Series
Single piece pole for exceptional stability
Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop Under $1,500
In-ground design with extra portability
Silverback NXT 60"
Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop Under $1,000
Super durable design and construction
Silverback NXT 54"
Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop Under $500
Excellent value for money
Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop Under $300
Good performance for the price
Dominator Inground Basketball Hoop
Best for Experienced Players
Made with premium materials only
Best for Youth
Bunch of patented technologies
Spalding NBA Ratchet Lift
Best for Casual Play
NBA association and high quality standards
Spalding 54" Acrylic
Best Spalding In-Ground Basketball Hoop
Professional arena design
A simple search over the Internet will give you lots of options. What am I talking about, you might as well reach the nearest sports store and find both branded and unbranded hoops. However, some units make a difference with their quality standards.
By the end of this article, you will know exactly what I mean.
This is probably the best in-ground basketball hoop I have ever used, and believe me, it almost feels like the real ones on actual courts. Now, this hoop comes in a few different colors, which actually affect the price – they are quite similar though, so it pays off to make this investment with a bit of budgeting in mind.
The package is complete and comes with the actual FT72 hoop, an anchor system, and a flex rim – built with heavy weights in mind. The manual is crystal clear when it comes to the installation, and all parts are easy to identify – we have all been there, and we know how confusing these things can be.
The backboard measures 72×42 inches. It is made of glass, but it is less likely to break – no worries there. It is half an inch in thickness and similar to what you can find on official courts. It comes with a heavyweight flex and an overhang of four feet for the rim.
Just like other hoops out there, this one is quite adjustable. Adjustability is pretty standard in this industry, and this hoop makes no exception either. It goes down to 7.5 feet in height, but it can also go up to 10 feet – it depends on your skills and preferences.
The tempered glass has a clear view and delivers more than just an official appearance. Sure, it looks like professional backboards, but at the same time, it adds to the overall rebound performance too – a solid plus, in my opinion.
In terms of the actual installation, stay away from electric wires. Based on where you live, you may need some approval from the local association. The hoop is set on a top-notch foundation – a solid pole consisting of a single piece. It is mounted to a concrete cured anchor into the ground.
- Looks and feels like an official hoop
- Build with quality materials in mind
- Exceptional stability due to the single-part pole
- Good rebound performance from the backboard
- Easy to install if you have DIY experience
- Rim may feel a bit tight, but this is what it takes to become a better player
If budget is not an issue for you, it pays off investing in something more expensive that can provide a more immersive experience. Goalrilla is specialized in providing quality residential hoops, and its units stand out in the crowd – the GS54 makes no exception either.
This product features a limited lifetime warranty, which shows why Goalrilla trusts its products. Now, most in-ground hoops are considered quite permanent. You need concrete to make them stable. They may not offer too much flexibility, but they are much better than portable alternatives.
However, the GS54 gives you the option to take the hoop and move it around. Sure, it is not as easy as just moving it. It has a concrete anchor system, but you also have the option to remove the bolts and simply move it somewhere else – no issues whatsoever and a great DIY project.
The backboard is 54 inches wide. It is made of tempered glass, so it is similar to what you can see on official courts. Strength? Impressive. Durability? Exceptional. Rebound performance? No matter what angle I shoot from, the bounce is predictable and leaves no room for unpleasant surprises.
In terms of standard features, you have the classics. Basically, this hoop is adjustable in height. You can go as low as 7.5 feet and as high as 10 feet – pretty standard for residential hoops. The adjustment is quite easy to perform and features a smooth mechanism.
In terms of looks and appearance, the hoop has an arena style that will not disappoint. Based on alloy steel, it is less likely to rust – durability is quite impressive, giving the hoop good value for money. As for the installation, it is quite straightforward.
- Allows a small degree of portability
- Built to last
- Height is easy to adjust
- Arena style appearance
- Stable and solid when installed by the book
- Assembly instructions could be a little confusing
I am not sure about others, but once I find something I love, I simply stick to it. And I am pretty sure there are others who see things the same way. I have tried a Silverback hoop once, and I was impressed with it, so it quickly became one of my favorite brands out there. Now, let me introduce you to the NXT 60.
I believe this is the best in-ground basketball hoop under $1,000 if you are not after fancy bells and whistles that you will never use. After all, who does? You just want a hoop in the right size, a hoop that feels solid and sturdy. This is exactly what Silverback has settled for.
Just like other Silverback hoops, this one comes with the classic appearance and performance associated with basketball. It feels like you are in the actual arena. It installs into the ground and must be secured with extra concrete inside the actual pole – more weight will keep it more stable, of course.
The installation should not take too long. Some parts are preassembled, but you need to put them into the ground yourself. Get a professional to do it, but you can also do it yourself if you have a few tools and a handy DIY spirit.
Moving on to more technical details, the backboard measures 60×34 inches. Just like other hoops in the NXT series, this one folds backward for extra rigidity. Other than that, you can count on quality materials for durability – aluminum and alloy steel.
The powder-coated alloy steel pole will allow you to adjust the height if you feel like it. It foes between 7.5 and 10 feet – more than enough for most players, regardless of the skill level. I am not sure what kind of coating Silverback uses for these hoops, but it will last for ages.
- Impressive durability
- High-quality construction
- Sturdy and strong when installed correctly
- Super easy to install – crystal clear instructions
- Smooth mechanism to lower and raise the hoop
- The three-piece pole is less stable than a two-piece pole – hence the instructions that advise against dunking
As you look up online, you will realize that some of them can cost a fortune. You will find hoops that cost two or three times more than others. You do not necessarily need the most expensive hoop on the market, but the cheapest one will not help you either.
If you are shopping on a budget, a middle choice is your best bet – basically, you need to hunt value for money, and this is exactly what Silverback’s hoop brings. It is just under $500, yet, you may find it on special offers every now and then too. It is probably the highest quality you can get for this money.
The backboard is a bit smaller than the regular one. Simply put, it measures 54 inches. To be honest, I think you can do it with 54 inches with no problems at all. After all, the difference is insignificant – you will need a regular size hoop only if you play in official leagues.
With the backboard measuring 54×33 inches, you can also fold it backward for extra rigidity. In terms of appearance, the hoop looks official. It has an arena appearance, and it provides the same high level of performance, so there should be no issues with your game.
Whether you want to adjust the height based on your performance or you get it for your kid, you should know that it is adjustable. The powder-coated pole is made of steel and can adjust between 7.5 and 10 feet.
Silverback is known for its rigid and stable hoops, and this one follows the same rule. It feels sturdier and more stable than other hoops in this range. Some of the parts are preassembled, but you will need to do most of the installation yourself. It will not take more than 90 minutes if you are the DIY type.
- Incredibly rigid and stable
- Relatively simple to install yourself
- Good appearance and performance
- Adjustable height based on your height and performance
- Alloy steel construction for strength and durability
- The hardware is zinc plated, which may not last very long
I believe you get what you pay for, but then, not everyone can afford to spend thousands on an in-ground basketball hoop. I also believe you need to stick to your budget, rather than buy things you cannot afford. This is when the Lifetime hoop kicks in.
Lifetime’s best in-ground basketball hoop will not bring in all the fancy bells and whistles associated with more expensive hoops. However, limitations are insignificant, and the hoop can still provide an excellent experience without too much hassle.
So, what do you get for less than $300? First, you have a 50-inch wide backboard. It is based on a shatterproof type of glass that looks like classic glass – perfect imitation and probably even more durable in the long run. The appearance is hard to contest.
Then, you have an 18-inch rim based on solid steel. It has double compression springs, meaning the rim can easily take a slam. However, like most in-ground basketball hoops, this one requires a bit of attention if you plan to do some dunks.
Adjustments are classic for in-ground basketball hoops. You can have the hoop at 7.5 feet, but you can also go up to 10 feet. The adjustment mechanism is quite simple to use – besides, you are less likely to use it too much once you figure out the ideal height for your skill level.
Anyway, it has an action grip adjustment that can be managed with one hand only.
Made of alloy steel, the hoop is made to last. It will resist all weather conditions. There is no need to unbolt it and take it inside in the wintertime. Simply leave it outside and give it a wipe every now and then – simple as that.
- Good value for money
- Easy to adjust with one hand
- Weather resistant materials
- Easy to put together
- Shatterproof backboard
- Parts are a bit tricky to identify when assembling it, but once you do it, the installation is straightforward
Whether you want to be a professional or already play in an official association, I believe this is one of the top-rated hoops. I have tried it before, and honestly, it is as stable and well-made as an official arena hoop – you just need the crowd around you to feel more authentic.
So, what should you expect from it? You have premium NBA quality – a 72-inch wide backboard with exquisite playability. You also have the three-foot overhang and tempered glass for the backboard. Basically, you are playing in the NBA once you get kicking with this hoop.
Quality goes into the materials as well. While most hoops these days are made to resist rust, this one is based on 6061 T6 aluminum. Not only is it perfectly rustproof, but it will also last longer and ensure great flexibility, without compromising stability.
Adjustability is obviously a breeze, too – no issues whatsoever. You may need a bit to get used to this system because it is unique. All in all, there are seven levels you can go through, and the hoop adjusts between seven and 10 feet – no effort is required.
Putting the hoop together obviously implies some work – make sure it is perfectly straight for a top-notch performance. If you like DIY projects, you should be able to complete it in less than an hour. Setting the anchor in concrete is the hardest part – everything else takes minutes only.
The easiest premium basketball hoop to assemble is only four parts to put together. Finally, Dominator has full confidence in its products and quality standards, offering a limited lifetime warranty to ensure the best possible experience.
- Built with premium materials
- Available in more backboard sizes
- Tempered glass backboard
- Easy to put together
- Adjustable in seven levels
- Dominator does not offer a compatible yard guard, so you may end up chasing the ball
Whether you got a kid, a teenager or you have just started playing basketball, and you do not really need a professional hoop, this model is perfect. I find it suitable for youths, as well as less experienced adults who do not have too many requirements from the hoop.
Designed with a simplistic approach in mind, the 90962 model will not let you down. It has a unique power lift adjustment mechanism – patented, so I have not seen it anywhere else. Here comes the classic – 7.5 to 10 feet in height. However, you only need one hand to make the adjustment – your grandma can do it.
The playing backboard is based on shatterproof polycarbonate. Not only does it look like glass, but it also provides a good performance. You will get used to consistent rebounding performance straight away. Plus, it is more durable than glass.
Quality materials go further than that though. The frame is based on steel – forget about rust. You can leave it outside forever with no issues at all. The coating is rust resistant too. When it comes to joints, they feature a patented friction weld resistance to prevent unwanted movements.
The rim is built to take some abuse, no doubt about it. It can take aggressive play and features a wraparound brace – just like in actual basketball arenas. Based on solid steel, it also has double compression springs.
Now, I do not really recommend dunking a lot when it comes to such hoops – just a matter of safety. However, this hoop can, indeed, take an occasional dunk every now and then – just let that energy get out of you.
The hoop has a full package and also includes a rubber 28.5 basketball – official size for women and youths, but men can also use it with no problems at all. It may not be the best basketball in the world, but it gets the job done – a small detail that shows Lifetime cares.
- Great value for money
- Durable and weather-resistant materials
- Can take occasional dunks
- Can adjust the height in seconds – one hand only
- Comes with a rubber basketball
- Installation could be a bit tight – use a bit of WD40, and you will be fine
If you are more about shooting balls every now and then with your friends or perhaps your kid after a long day at work, you probably do not feel like spending a fortune. Instead, you are after a bit of quality to ensure the hoop lasts over time and is an authentic experience.
Spalding might have created the best in-ground basketball hoop for casual play. Besides, if you love basketball, you probably know already that Spalding provided the official ball for a few decades – the name is synonymous with the NBA and one of the most representative names out there.
The price is quite low, but there are also a few limitations – nothing too important. The backboard, for example, only measures 44×30 inches. It is smaller than the official size but big enough to help you shoot. It offers good rebounding performance, and you can tell precisely where the ball is going to go.
The board is based on polycarbonate. It is less likely to break, regardless of your aggressive game. Then, you also have a breakaway rim. In terms of appearance, the hoop looks like an official NBA one, but a bit smaller, of course.
There is something special about it – maybe the fact that it is a bit more compact than others or perhaps the NBA logo on it. It feels good playing and it comes with some adjustability too. This is another slight limitation of the hoop – hence my recommendation for casual play only.
Basically, while most hoops allow more adjustability, this one only goes between eight and 10 feet in height. It is still more than enough for most people. Besides, you can increase the height in four-inch increments. Adjusting the height is a matter of seconds.
The installation is straightforward and standard for in-ground hoops – a couple of hours maximum.
- Good value for money
- Durable construction
- Compact design, suitable for small backyards or driveway
- Installation is straightforward
- Official brand name associated with the NBA
- Despite being straightforward, you need some muscle for the installation
To a lot of people, this is all about the brand. You are loyal to a brand you are familiar with. If you had Spalding basketballs before, you know how qualitative they are. Then, Spalding is probably the most recognizable name associated with the NBA – along with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
So, if you are after Spalding, you know you can leave yourself in good hands. There are quite a few options out there, but this is probably Spalding’s best in-ground basketball hoop. It may not come in an official size, but it has all the elements you expect from a hoop – and pretty high quality as well.
Anyway, the acrylic system features a 54×32-inch backboard. It is based on acrylic – durable and good-looking. It also has a steel frame that will never rust, but last for ages – pretty much like you see in the NBA.
The breakaway rim features heavy-duty wrap support, as well as steel arms. Again, like other hoops, it can take some dunks every now and then. But then, unless you have one of those solid heavy-duty hoops used for official courts, you should not really try it.
The rim height goes between seven and 10 feet – standard for residential basketball hoops. You have a U-turn system that allows adjustments within seconds only. Even kids can adjust the height without risking any accidents.
Finally, the setup is pretty straightforward if you have done it before. Instructions are there, but chances are you will need an extra hand and some DIY experience. Overall, the whole job should not take more than a couple of hours.
- Professional arena appearance
- Durable materials, based on alloy steel
- Adjustable height
- Arena slam breakaway rim
- Easy installation
- Some installation instructions come in small print – make sure you double-check everything before even starting
Choosing the Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop – Our Buying Guide
Now you know what the best in-ground basketball hoop could be, but then, what works for some people will not work for everyone else. Different heights, skill levels, goals, and so on – all these things can dictate the necessity of a different hoop.
Here is what you need to pay attention to before making a final decision.
Main support pole
The support pole is one of the most important things – you need it to be stable. It goes into the ground and holds the backboard. The thicker it is, the sturdier it becomes. Obviously, there will be less rattling too. After all, you do not want to wait a few seconds after each shot – rattling can ruin the game.
Ideally, you should go for a support pole with 3.5 inches or more in diameter. You can still get a bit of rattling at this size, especially when shooting from a long distance and hitting the backboard. If you want to dunk every now and then too, you will obviously need even more thickness.
Too much thickness is not too good either. Some heavy-duty units – such as the ones installed in official courts or school courts – can be square. They measure 8×8 inches, meaning they are less likely to rattle.
The backboard is often overlooked – the size does matter, indeed, but the material is just as important. In fact, I believe this is one of the most important considerations, and let me explain why. There are normally three options – acrylic, tempered glass, and polycarbonate. Acrylic is less popular – premium material.
Tempered glass is a bit more official. It is superior to polycarbonate in terms of performance, but it is not as practical. For example, tempered glass backboards are quite heavy, so they need proper support. They are also easier to break and rattle a bit more when compared to other materials.
Polycarbonate is inexpensive and quite common. It will not bounce too much – rebounding is a bit off, and the ball goes down much faster. Bouncing characteristics are weak, so the ball feels like it simply falls down when it hits the backboard, rather than bounce.
Acrylic is somewhere between these two materials. The rebounding performance is in the middle. Acrylic is light though, so it is often used in portable basketball hoops. It is attractive, but not as durable as tempered glass.
The overhang is another consideration most newbies never pay attention to, yet I think it can make a difference in the long run. The overhang is the distance between the backboard and the main pole for support – more overhang is better. Opt for at least four feet – more, if you can.
Why? Simple – the bigger the overhang is, the less risky your games will be. A low overhang means you cannot play in the paint without risking banging your head from the pole. And trust me, I have been there, and it is not nice at all.
But then, space could be an issue and may prevent you from getting too much overhang. If space is a problem, go for at least two feet and just be a bit more careful. Driveways are quite limited in size, so this is where a low overhang comes in handy.
Backboard size is one of the top considerations when hunting the best in-ground basketball hoop. Personally, I do not give it that much importance – let me tell you why. A cheaper hoop will come with a smaller backboard.
A large backboard – at least 54 inches – is recommended. A smaller one will make it a bit more difficult to make shots. However, if you can make shots with no backboard or a little backboard, you will find larger backboards a breeze. A small backboard is what ups your game.
Height is a similar aspect to think about. People are worried about the height, but most basketball hoops – at least the decent ones – come with adjustable height. Height adjustability is pretty much a standard feature these days, so look elsewhere if you find a hoop with no adjustability at all.
Most basketball hoops allow adjusting the height between seven and 10 feet. Some of them might be a bit more limited – a lower adjustable range, not to mention bigger increments in adjustability. Such small details are irrelevant – chances are you will easily find something suitable for your height and skill.
If you think you can do without rim height adjustment, you are wrong. You may want to practice your shots with a lower rim at first. With time, you may want to practice some dunks at eight feet. Height adjustable systems are standard these days, so there is no need to make compromises.
Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I dunk on an in-ground basketball hoop?
It depends on a few different things. It depends on what material the backboard is made of. Your size is just as important – not to mention ensuring the installation is perfect. Make sure the rim can survive too. Some hoops are designed to support a player’s weight.
Personally, I do not recommend it because you never know – different builds, different weight standards, and different levels of strength. Avoid hanging from the basketball hoop–you are likely to ruin it.
What is so bad about rattling basketball hoops?
There are two reasons wherefore rattling is a bad idea. First, you cannot take a shot immediately after rebounding because the rattle will make it almost impossible. You will need to wait five or 10 seconds or so. Second, your neighbors will hate the annoying rattling noise.
How long will a basketball hoop last?
It normally depends on the materials. A steel pole will last for years – no issues whatsoever. Polycarbonate backboards can last for up to five years with almost no maintenance. Looking after your backboard will make it last longer.
Tempered glass or acrylic will last until the glass breaks.
Deciding on the best in-ground basketball hoop can be a bit challenging. There are lots of options out there and some of them can cost up to 10 times more than others. As hard as it may seem to believe, quality standards are often quite similar.
But then, some hoops are for professional or advanced players. Some others are for newbies. Then, there is the price consideration as well. You can find hoops for less than $300, as well as hoops for over $2,000. Your budget, basketball skills, and needs should push you in the right direction.