I know that there are a lot of substitutes available. There are the hoops that you simply nail to the wall and that minimalistic setup is enough for many.
There are portable hoop setups that water or sand bases – and while they keep everything portable, they look just as closer to the real and professional ones as they can.
However, both of these alternatives have their own drawbacks. The wall-mount basketball hoops are pretty stable, but they do not look or feel real – at least not as real as the in-ground basketball hoops do.
The portable ones have the complete setup; it is not only a hoop, but there is a shaft too and thus you get the closest to real kind of experience. However, since the base is not in ground, but it is a portable one, you never enjoy the kind of rigid stability that you enjoy in case of a real (in-ground) hoop.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Our Top Pick
- 2 Top Rated In-Ground Basketball Hoops
- 3 Buyers Guide
- 4 Installation
- 5 Summary
Our Top Pick
This is a review of top 10 in-ground basketball hoops. I picked these hoops based on the overall number of sales that each hoop achieved on Amazon. Number of sales is the biggest factor that determines how good or bad is a product.
After determining all the features, specifications, reviews, sales, and other things, I have compiled this premium list of these basketball hoops for your driveway. So try to check out all of them thoroughly so that you can get the best deal as per your likings.
Other than that, I considered some other factors – most importantly the features of each product, overall positive rating and signals like “Amazon’s Choice” tag etc.
Lifetime Adjustable Hoop – 54” – Best Overall
I picked this hoop (over all others) for this category because it has the biggest number of sales and ratings. But this is not all. Its overall rating is also very positive and it has amazing features such as a big professional size backboard.
Top Rated In-Ground Basketball Hoops
This is the part where I take each and every product and dissect it in front of my readers.
I haven’t definitely used all of these hoops, but for those that I never tested or used, I trust the opinion of the experts who have been into basketball or in a position to judge those hoops.
Also, I rely on the reviews of the verified customers of these products on Amazon.
The review framework is based on features, pros and cons, and a general understanding that I reach by reading the answers to the most frequently asked questions about these products.
Now without any further ado, here are the reviews.
1. Lifetime Adjustable –
This is our best overall or best of the best in-ground basketball hoops that I have picked for this review. There are many reasons for that apart from good ratings. One of the most important reasons why its customers love it is because while it is cheap, there is no noticeable compromise on quality.
This item is highly durable and the reason why you’d love experiencing a basketball hoop like this one, once you move from a wall-mount one or from a portable one, is the rugged and stable feel – the real tournament like feel – with no shaking.
54” Polycarbonate Backboard
This backboard is 54” wide. This is not the professional size (for tournament training), but this is somehow on the edge of that particular ballpark figure. It can definitely be used for training. The board is made of polycarbonate. This choice of material shows the desire for durability. This material is 5 times stronger than acrylic and it is known for maximum durability.
Power Lift Height Adjustment
So what is power lift height adjustment? It is sort of a brand name from Lifetime for their pole/shaft height adjustment system. It does not actually take power (electricity), but it is way easier than other manual height adjustment methods. The height can be adjusted anywhere from 7’5” to 10’ which is the tournament standard.
Slam-it Pro Rim
Just like the height adjustment mechanism, they have a name for the rim as well. They call it slam-it pro rim. Aside from names, this is a professional kind of rim. There are two types: rigid and breakaway. Rigid does not have any springs or flexibility, while the breakaway one has springs that actually support the wrist while you dunk the hoop.
Blow-molded Backboard Frame
This hoop’s backboard’s frame is made of blow-molded material. There is a 5-year manufacturer warranty to back it. Blow-molded plastic is known for its strength and durability.
Powder-Coated Steel Shaft
The pole is powder-coated for protection from weather and such stimuli.
2. Silverback 60” –
This is for those who want to up their game and want to move closer to the tournament-size backboards for better and more professional feel and training. However, the 60” backboard is not the only reason why you’d love to buy this one.
Well, let’s not let the sub-brand names fool you. Arena-Style simply means that the kind of experience you’d enjoy while training on this hoop would be closer to tournament-like training and game. This hoop is bigger than the last one so that is one of the reasons behind this claim.
In-Ground but Moveable
This is interesting. The last hoop that we have just reviewed has a pole that has to be cemented deeply and directly into the ground, but this one is different. It is in-ground, but moveable too. You have to use bolts to install this thing where you want. Once you move to another place (like permanently), unbolt it and take it with you.
Tempered Glass 60” Backboard
This hoop has a 60” backboard as I have already said, this is closer to the tournament-level training when you compare it with the 54” one that I’ve reviewed above. The backboard is made of tempered glass; tempered glass is considered a better material because it is durable, but highly flexible (bouncy) too.
This rig has a professional breakaway rim. A breakaway rim is flexible because of its springs as compared with a rigid one. This help with easy wrist movement when you dunk a hoop.
The pole is powder-coated for better protection from rust and corrosion and warp etc.
The height of this hoop is also adjustable. You can adjust it anywhere from 7’5” to 10’. It is easy to adjust.
Backboard Pads Included
To provide you protection during lay-offs, there are two backboard pads included in the deal.
3. Spalding NBA 54” –
This is another 54” basketball hoop. This type of hoops is still considered among professional training hoops because they are far bigger and better than the hoops that are around 40” wide. This one also has a more flexible or bouncy backboard.
54” Wide Hoop
Spalding NBA is yet another 54” hoop. This types of hoopsactually hit the sweet spot between beginner level hoops (30” to 45”+) and pro-level hoops (60” to 70”+). In case you think that you’re upping your game and you need to go from beginner to intermediate level, this is just the hoop for you.
Tempered Glass Backboard
The 54” backboard of this hoop is made of tempered glass. Tempered glass or this or that type of plastic, it all boils down to personal preferences. If you want a durable board with the kind of bounciness that no other board can offer you, this is the one for you.
Steel Board Frame
The board frame is made of steel. The steel, from frame to pole, is powder-coated for protection from weather and rust and all that.
Pro Image Rim
Again – this is just another brand name. Each of these companies have their own sub-brand names for rims or other parts. This is a breakaway rim with springs due to which it bends and supports your action when you dunk the hoop.
Spalding’s unique u-turn lift system is basically used to reduce or increase the height of the hoop. Although this system takes two hands, unlike others that I’ve reviewed above, you can very quickly increase the height from 7’5” to 10’ or vice versa.
This pole has to be cemented into the ground. You are not going to bold it. Because of this design choice, this becomes a comparatively stabler hoop.
4. Silverback Hoop 54” –
Silverback is a comparatively less famous company when you see that it is competing with products made by companies like Spalding and Lifetime. However, this 54” hoop is not inferior to any of them.
“A rose by any other name” – it’s again a sub-brand name. The purpose of giving this thing this name is just to tell you that the performance that you’d enjoy on this hoop would be similar to that on a professional/training hoop (used for tournaments).
Tempered Glass 54” Hoop
This hoop’s backboard is also made of tempered glass and it is 54” wide. This is a standard size for those who have aced the beginner level basketball and who now want to pivot to the expert-level game.
This hoop also has its own height adjustment system. The pole can be adjusted anywhere from 7’5” to 10’ with the help of an all-steel actuator. Whole thing, steel pole and actuator, are powder-coated for rust protection. Keep it at 7’5” as long as you are at beginner level and increase the size to 10’ (tournament size) whenever you feel like doing so.
Pole & Board Padding
The pole and board frame are not only powder-coated for weather protection, but from top to bottom they’re foam-padded too. This is done to protect the player from unpleasant accidents.
DuPont Rust Protection
The part of pole that goes into the cemented ground has extra layers of DuPont rust protective coating. The additional layer keeps the underground part of the steel from catching rust and corrosion.
The rim on this thing is a breakaway rim. These are the best in-ground hoops that you can find and this is why all of them have this type of rims. They flex under pressure and thus make it easy for you to dunk the hoop.
5. Lifetime 71281 52” –
This is another hoop from Lifetime, but this one is 52” which is 2” shorter than the previous Lifetime hoop that I have reviewed above. However, 2” reduces size does not a deal break; it is still ideal for beginner to intermediate players.
52” Polycarbonate Board
As I said, this one has a 52” wide hoop. This doesn’t make much difference since it is still way better than 30-40 inches hoops and 54” was still somewhere between beginner and expert level hoops. So is this one. The backboard is made of polycarbonate. As I said, this material is chosen because of its 5x durability over materials like acrylic.
Stainless Steel Frame
The frame of this backboard is made of stainless-steel. Stainless-steel does not catch rust or corrosion, and it is definitely the best choice for a protective frame.
3-Piece 3.5” Thick Pole
The pole or shaft of this hoop is also made of steel. And it is a 3.5” thick pole and it is a telescopic one so you can easily adjust the height. Speaking of its thickness, I must mention that it’s not too thick (like those 5” poles), but it is neither too thin like those 2.5” ones.
The height adjustment of this thing is not achieved via 3-piece telescopic pole (coz that could be very difficult to do). It is done via a Power Lift mechanism. It just takes one person and one hand to pull or push the lever on the back side and you can easily adjust it anywhere from beginner-level 7’5” to expert-level 10’.
UV and Rust Protection
The entire steel thing (from hoop frame to pole) is powder-coated for weather protection. And the hoop is coated for UV protection; it’s color and design won’t fade away with the passage of time.
This rig also comes with a “Slam-It” breakaway rim.
6. Goalrilla FT Series –
Now we’re talking about professional-level hoops – at least this one checks all the boxes. It is a NBA-size hoop with all the professional features that professionals prefer when it comes to training or playing.
72” Tempered Glass Hoop
This hoop (backboard) is at least in the exact wheelhouse that you call tournament-level or NBA-standard size. 72” is way bigger than 54” ones and this one is only recommended to either those who are already professional players or who wanna go from beginner to pro-level and play tournaments. The backboard is made of tempered glass; this is the best material in case you want the kind of bounciness that professional hoops offer.
Anchor System – Partly Moveable
This is not 100% an in-ground hoop. It is not cemented into the ground; it is bolted instead. Whenever you feel like moving to another place (permanently), you just unbolt the rig and take it with you.
This one also has a pro-style breakaway rim. This rim is used on professional level tournaments. It flexed under pressure and thus keeps you from wrist injuries.
Black Anodized Frame
The frame of this hoop is made of anodized aluminum. Anodizing is a process that simply makes the frame safer, more corrosion and rust resistant and helps it with retaining its appearance.
The one-person, one-hand, height adjustment mechanism makes it uber easy to adjust the height from 7’5” to 10’.
1-Piece Pole Design
This is a one-piece pole. The good thing about such poles is that they’re easy to install and they do not move a lot like 2 or 3-piece ones.
7. Pro Dunk Gold 60” –
This one is from another famous company; Pro Dunk makes high-quality basketball setups. This one, for example, is a 60” hoop. Still not the professional size, but way better than 50” to 54” ones.
This hoop’s size is 60” – backboard is 60” wide and this is good enough for professional training. It not the NBA standard size, admitted, but any backboard bigger than 60” is considered good for professional training. Be it a gym, your office or your home, this is enough for training.
Tempered Glass Backboard
The material of the backboard is shatter-proof tempered glass material. This kind of material is considered professional level, because you get the kind of flexibility and bounciness that you want.
6” x 6” Massive Pole
The 7-gauge thick and 6” x 6” rectangular pole of this setup cannot be compared to 3.5” or 5” thick poles. This pole has to be cemented into the ground and with this kind of thickness, there is no way this pole will be shaking and moving like others do.
The one-hand height adjustment system is very easy. You can adjust the height anywhere from a beginner’s level 5’ to a pro-level 10’ in one go.
Zinc Galvanized for Rust Protection
The pole and the frame of backboard are made of stainless-steel. But to make the metal more rust-proof, they zinc-galvanized the whole thing. It is impossible for this setup to catch rust.
The rim that you get with this rig is a breakaway one.
In case Pro Dunk Gold – the 60” hoop wasn’t enough for your professional training aims, this one should be. They call it Platinum and it is only because its backboard is 72” wide. And this is not the only reason why you’d want to buy it.
This one has a 72” hoop – as I have just said. This hoop is considered the tournament/NBA/professional standard size and getting your hands on a hoop this big is recommended whether you’re a beginner aspiring to become a professional basketball player or a professional player.
Tempered Glass Backboard
The backboard is made of tempered glass: perfect for flexibility and the much-needed bounce.
8” x 6” Pole
The pole is not a 3.5” round pole. You get everything as per the international basketball sports standards. This pole is a rectangular, 8” x 6” pole that will NEVER shake the way those 3”+ round poles do.
The basic rig and all the required playing styles like dunking and hanging etc. are supported by a limited lifetime warranty.
The height of this hoop is adjustable and the good thing is that minimum possible height is more than what you get in case of other companies. You can adjust it easily, from 5’5” to 10’.
Zinc Galvanized Pole
The whole thing, from steel frame to pole, is protected from rust. They zinc galvanized the whole thing that makes it almost impossible for rust and similar stimuli to creep in.
9. Spalding 888 60” –
This is yet another Spalding hoop. The other one that I picked for this review and I have reviewed already is a 54” one. This one is 60” one. 60” is not the exact same backboard size that is used in tournaments, but it makes the whole training thing more professional.
This hoop is pretty big in size. 60” hoop is not as small as a 50”+ and not even comparable to 30”+ ones. However, this is not a professional size either. But these products are for the people who want to train on professional hoops for that purpose this is almost perfect.
Tempered Glass Backboard
The backboard (60” one) is made of tempered glass. This kind of backboard is what they use in real matches. The material is considered good because it ensures flexibility and bounciness.
U-Turn Pro Height Adjustment
The U-Turn Pro height adjustment system (I have talked about that in the first one’s review) allows you to reduce the height to a maximum of 7’ where teens can enjoy to a 10’ one where it’s professional level training.
The pole is padded for extended protection from accidents, injuries and bruises.
10. Goalrilla GS 60” –
This one is another hoop from Goalrilla. The company is not very famous, but it is definitely making amazing products. This one is a 60” one.
This hoop is a 60” hoop. This is not a small hoop. This is a big hoop. But this is yet no the professional NBA training size. However, this is enough to bring you closer to professional training.
Tempered Glass Backboard
This hoop’s backboard is made of tempered glass, which is just perfect, because no other material can be as flexible and bouncy as tempered glass is.
Black Anodized Frame
They made the frame out of black colored and anodized plastic. Anodization basically make a material more durable.
The hoop is not the one that you’d cement into the ground. This has an anchor system. You bolt it to the concrete/in ground. And you can unbolt it and take it anywhere with you when you want.
6” x 6” Pole
The pole is a 6” x 6” rectangular pole that will not shake like the thin ones.
The rim that you get with this rig is a breakaway rim – tournament standard
The height of this rig is adjustable anywhere from 7’5” to 10’.
So, these were the ten best in-ground basketball hoops. But in case you want to buy your own after due diligence, here is what to look for when buying an in-ground basketball hoop.
So, not all permanent or in-ground hoops are the same when it comes to how you install them. They are definitely, totally opposite from wall-mount hoops and portable ones, but within this category: “in-ground hoops” there are two different types.
First type has a pole from top to bottom, that you dig the ground for and that you cement into the ground. This one is not even slightly moveable until you dig up the ground.
The other type is that of anchor system hoops. You bolt that kind of hoop to the ground and you can unbolt it when needed.
Frequency of Use
Call it frequency of or use or training level, but you have to first define the purpose of you buying a hoop.
Are you a parent who want to buy a hoop for their kids and family? Or you’re a boss who want a hoop for his company’s rec room? Or you are at a certain level of professional basketball sports (even if its college team) and you want a near-pro-level hoop for practice? Or you’re a gym owner who want to add a very useful sport equipment to the existing equipment?
This question determines the kind of hoop you need – a 52” one with rigid rim or a 72” one with a breakaway one.
Speaking of rims, there are very important and you must know the kind of rim you need which is what you learn when you ask yourself what do you need the hoop for.
A rigid rim comes with smaller backboard hoops that are made for recreational purposes. It is durable and cheap.
A breakaway rim comes with a professional-level hoop. It flexes under pressure and thus facilitates your wrist movement. This stuff is expensive and durability relies on the kind of springs used.
Backboard’s width, its material and its frame – all 3 things are important. The backboard size matters.
Professional level backboard size is 72” – more or less. This means that 30-45” hoops are for kids and teens, 50”-60” hoops are for those who are interested in this game, want to train well for professional-level basketball and want to up their training, and 60”-72” means you get a near professional to professional level rig.
The materials matter a lot. Acrylic is durable and hard, but more durable and harder is polycarbonate – roughly five times more durable than acrylic.
People also prefer backboard made of shatter-poof tempered glass. That material ensures that you get a good bounce rate when the ball hits the flexible backboard.
Frames are just frames – they have to be durable and sturdy, doesn’t matter whether it is plastic or stainless-steel or aluminum.
We need to talk about a few things here.
First of all is whether it is a one-piece pole or a 2-3-piece one. One-piece is easier to install and it does not shake as much as 2 to 3-piece poles do.
Second thing is about its width and shape. Most of the hoops have 3.5” to 5” round poles. Best ones are those that have 5”+ thickness.
Third and the last thing is protection. Is the pole’s part underground and overground painted or zinc galvanized for rust protection or not? And also, whether the pole is padded for extra protection or not?
It is not easy to install an in-ground basketball hoop. You have to cement that thing in the ground, you have to make sure that the pole is straight and you have to do more than just digging up for a hole. Fortunately, we have a detailed guide that gives you step by step instructions to make this fool-proof for you.
Do not forget to follow this guide with a keen eye, as one wrong step can make your basketball hoop unstable. You would surely not want your hoop to be unstable while playing because it is surely one of the reasons to kill the actual joy of basketball. Also, check in the end if the basketball hoop is sturdy enough so that you can start playing without any consequences.
Here is a little table to put things into perspective.
|Hoop||Image||Permanent or Anchor||Hoop Size||Price|
|Lifetime Adjustable Hoop||Permanent||54"|
|Spalding NBA 54||Permanent||54"|
|Goalrilla FT Series 72||Anchor||72"|
|Pro Dunk Gold 60||Permanent||60"|
|Pro Dunk Platinum 72||Permanent||72"|
Spalding 888 60
|Goalrilla GS 60||Anchor||60"|
In case you want a perfect hoop from 52” to 60” range, the best one is our best overall hoop Lifetime Adjustable Hoop – 54”.
However, if you’re looking for a 100% professional and tournament-standard rig, I’d suggest Goalrilla FT Series 72” Hoop. What makes it better than Pro Dunk’s 72” hoop is the fact that it can be anchored to the ground and then unbolted to shift it to somewhere else.
I have been playing basketball for more than a decade now, and my passion and enthusiasm for it drove me to write about it. I am Ahmed, a professional basketball player and a fan who has now become a writer to help fellow basketball players and enthusiasts to opt for the best possible basketball accessories and essentials. Stay tuned to feast yourself with the content you might not have seen anywhere else.