Best in Ground Basketball Hoop in 2020

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Do you spend more hours traveling to and from the gym instead of actually using the court? Does your portable hoop rattle and shake every time you make a shot? With the best in-ground basketball hoop, you’ll get a genuine court feel without leaving your house. 

In this article, we’re going to explain the factors you need to consider and show you the top-rated in-ground basketball systems on the market. These permanent installations let you spend more time practicing your moves. We’ve also included some tips on how to install and care for your hoops. 

Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop in 2020

For this part, we’re compiling all the information you need to help you invest in the best in-ground basketball system. All of the models provide stability and durability but weigh in the features to see which one will offer a gym-like playing experience for you. 

Brand
Best Overall
Silverback 60″ In-Ground Basketball System
Best for the Money
Silverback 54″ In-Ground Height Adjustable Basketball System
Best Cheap Pick
Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Power Lift Basketball System
Product
Silverback 60" In-Ground Basketball Hoop with...
Silverback 54" In-Ground Height Adjustable...
Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball...
Backboard
Tempered glass
Tempered glass
Steel Framed Shatterproof
Rim Height Adjustability
7.5’ to 10’
7.5’ to 10’
7.5’ to 10’
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Silverback 60″ In-Ground Basketball System
Product
Silverback 60" In-Ground Basketball Hoop with...
Backboard
Tempered glass
Rim Height Adjustability
7.5’ to 10’
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Silverback 54″ In-Ground Height Adjustable Basketball System
Product
Silverback 54" In-Ground Height Adjustable...
Backboard
Tempered glass
Rim Height Adjustability
7.5’ to 10’
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Power Lift Basketball System
Product
Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball...
Backboard
Steel Framed Shatterproof
Rim Height Adjustability
7.5’ to 10’
Rating

Overall Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop: Silverback 60″ In-Ground Basketball System 

Silverback 60' In-Ground Basketball Hoop with...

Achieve an arena-style playing experience with the features of the Silverback 60-inch In-Ground Basketball System. This hoop combines durability, stability, and superior rebound, making it the best in-ground hoop for beginners, seasoned players, as well as children and families. 

The durability begins with the two-piece steel pole. The four-inch pole even comes with a DuPont powder coating, which guarantees the hoop remains resistant against corrosion, rust, premature wearing, and harsh climates. 

Although the SB60 needs in-ground installation, an anchor mounting gives you the option to move the hoop in different locations. Don’t worry about stability because the base anchors keep the entire system sturdy. Beating the other models, the package already includes an anchor kit. 

The steel pole uses a crank actuator to adjust the system’s height from 7.5 to 10 feet. If you want to train using NBA and NCAA regulation height, the SB60 can modify the height for you. 

To prepare you for competitive play, there’s also a pro-style breakaway rim that flexes under pressure and meets regulation basketball standards. What’s more, it connects to a tempered glass backboard with pads. In effect, the ball bounces off the glass like it’s supposed to. 

The rim can handle light dunks, although hanging from it may cause long-term damage. There are minimal vibrations when making shots, but no excessive wobbles that can affect your play. 

The 60-inch backboard has a weather-resistant aluminum frame. This feature enables the hoop to maintain the center of gravity down and won’t make the system top-heavy. Meanwhile, the tempered glass makes the backboard a sturdy and reliable platform. 

For your safety, the backboard has a pad that prevents you from having injuries, letting you play comfortably at any level you desire. 

In the same way, the backboard pad reinforces the powder coating to preserve the hoop’s parts. As a result, you can use this hoop for several years. The package also comes with a five-year limited warranty should you need replacement parts. 

If you are looking for a superior playing experience on your medium to large driveway, the SB60 will deliver a genuine feel of a court and authentic ball reaction. 

Product Highlights

  • Tempered glass for reinforced backboard
  • Concrete anchor system for strength and stability 
  • Pro-style breakaway rim for ball reaction
  • Height adjustability actuator to modify the height
  • Pole and backboard pads for safety during rough play

Pros

  • Anchor mounting offers flexible installation
  • Adjustable height and rim that cater to various ages and levels of play
  • Powder-coating, pads, and warranty for protection

Cons

  • Assembly needs at least four people
  • Support pole may wobble if not correctly installed 
Sale
Silverback 60" In-Ground Basketball Hoop with...
  • ARENA-STYLE PERFORMANCE - Premier in-ground basketball goal offers the performance of...
  • MOVE YOUR HOOP WITH YOU - Anchor mounting offers the strength of concrete and the option to unbolt...
  • FLEXES UNDER PRESSURE - Tempered glass backboard and pro-style breakaway rim that flexes under...

Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop for the Money: Silverback 54″ In-Ground Height Adjustable Basketball System

Silverback 54' In-Ground Height Adjustable...

Similar to SB60, the Silverback 54-inch In-Ground Basketball System is a premier hoop that guarantees a good value purchase. The overall package is heavy-duty and professional-grade, giving you the perfect hoop system for years.  

You can install the 3.8-inch pole into the ground and use concrete to secure it. With the main pole directly installed into concrete, the pole becomes susceptible to moisture. However, the powder coating of the pole protects the steel from corroding, making your system remarkably strong and impenetrable.  

Moreover, the pole includes padding that serves as a soft cushion when players make contact with the pole. This padding is particularly beneficial when the goal is in the lower positions, and player impact with the board is likely. 

What also makes the SB54iG one of the best in-ground basketball hoops is its easy height adjustment. An all-steel actuator enables the system to change the height from 7 up to 10 feet. The brand follows ASTM International safety standards to prevent player injuries. 

This model also boasts two feet of overhang from the pole to the backboard. In this way, you can play safely underneath the hoop. You can go for layups and guard underneath the hoop without touching the pole. 

Aside from that, a 54-inch tempered glass blackboard provides a good cylinder action and excellent rebound. A glass tempering process makes the backboard durable and safe against shattering. 

The rugged steel shaft has two sections, making it simple to assemble the backboard. Since the pole is anchored in the ground, the system can support the weight of the glass backboard. 

Dust, harsh climate, and rust can’t harm the backboard thanks to the zinc coating and defensive powder covering from DuPont.

Another superb feature is the spring-activated rim that flexes under pressure. Similarly, the breakaway rim protects the backboard’s integrity. In effect, players don’t get injuries even when they practice dunking. 

Considering all these features, the SB54iG is a recommendable in-ground basketball hoop for driveways. This model is also perfect for players who need height adjustments to serve both children and adults. To further ease your mind, a five-year limited warranty backs this product.

Product Highlights

  • Pole and backboard pad for protection during aggressive play
  • In-ground mounting with DuPont rust protection for durability
  • Pro-style breakaway rim that flexes under pressure
  • Padded backboard with thick tempered glass for a nice rebound
  • Anti-corrosion rust protection for longevity

Pros

  • Steel post modifies height from 7.5 to 10 feet 
  • Little to no wobble during competitive games 
  • Paddings in the backboard and pole soften the player’s impact

Cons

  • The anchor kit is not included
  • Installation can be a bit challenging 
Silverback 54" In-Ground Height Adjustable...
  • ARENA-STYLE PERFORMANCE - Premier in-ground basketball goal directly installs into ground and...
  • FLEXES UNDER PRESSURE - Tempered glass backboard and pro-style breakaway rim that flexes under...
  • HEIGHT-ADJUSTABLE - Powder-coated steel pole height adjusts from 7.5’ to 10’ with all-steel...

Best Cheap In-Ground Basketball System: Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Power Lift Basketball System 

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball...

If you want the best in-ground basketball hoop while saving a few bucks, the Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Power Lift Basketball System is the right choice for you. A quality hoop with durable parts, this model lets you practice in your own space without breaking the bank.  

Lifetime is one of the leading basketball hoops manufacturers. In fact, Lifetime is famous for its quality materials, features, and cost-friendly prices. The 71281 hoop is a good example. 

For starters, the poles act as guardians of the hoop. To reduce the risk of unwanted movements and accidents, this model optimizes a three-piece 3.5-inch round pole. 

In addition, a friction-weld joint serves as a lock feature to prevent unwanted movements. However, the three-piece structure may still cause vibrations from time to time. 

On the bright side, the Lifetime 71281 comes with UV protection and powder coating. As a result, the steel pole remains resistant to weather, rusting, and discoloration. 

Its unique feature is the Power Lift Height Adjustment Mechanism, which enables you to adjust the pole from 7.5 to 10 feet easily. This feature lets you adjust the height up or down. 

With a simple squeeze, even your kids can make the hoop suitable for their height. In this way, you can spend more time practicing and less effort in trying to get the right height. 

Even if this is a low-end model, the Lifetime 71281 is still one of the best in-ground basketball hoops because of its Slam-It Rim. With the addition of all-weather nylon, the rim enables you to dunk without fear of damaging other parts of the hoop. 

An exposed spring breakaway rim setup makes this model an ideal recreational basketball hoop. This structure allows dunking, although hanging on the rim is not advisable. On the downside, the spring may rust when exposed to elements. 

What’s also impressive about this hoop is the 52-inch polycarbonate backboard. With that said, the shatterproof backboard can withstand extreme weather and changes from seasons. It may have a smaller backboard compared to the two models from Silverback, but the strength that comes from the material is a redeeming factor. 

The medium-sized backboard has a steel frame, which enhances the durability and stability of the hoop. However, polycarbonate is not very responsive and may impact your performance. 

The Lifetime 71281 also contains UV protection, letting your hoop safe under the heat of the sun. The whole package has proper rust protection, so you won’t have to worry much about maintenance. 

Product Highlights

  • Friction-weld joint in the pole to prevent unwanted backboard movement
  • Slam-It Rim with an all-weather net
  • UV protected powder-coated steel for durability
  • Power Lift tallness alteration system to adjust the height from 7.5 to 10 feet.
  • Polycarbonate backboard that can withstand extreme weather

Pros

  • Quality in-ground basketball system at a budget-friendly rate 
  • Suitable for different players’ heights
  • Poles minimize vibrations and instability 

Cons

  • Smaller backboard
  • Assembly can be difficult for two people
Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball...
  • 52" Steel Framed Shatterproof backboard is constructed with a polycarbonate surface for strength and...
  • Features Power Lift height adjustment mechanism; easily adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet
  • 3 Piece 3.5" round pole features a friction-weld joint that safeguards against unwanted movement

Best Weather-Resistant and Shatterproof In-Ground Basketball System: Lifetime 71525 Height Adjustable In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Lifetime 71525 Height Adjustable In Ground...

For those on the lookout for rugged, high-intensity play, the weather-resistant features of the Lifetime 71525 Height Adjustable In-Ground Basketball Hoop will keep you in awe. With a decent-sized backboard, durable pole, and high-quality materials, this model will let you practice your skills at home. 

The support pole is a three-piece 3.5-inch diameter steel structure. The weather-resistant steel frame minimizes movement and vibration whenever there’s an impact on the backboard or rim. 

Similar to Lifetime 71281, this model optimizes the Power Lift Height Adjustment Mechanism to bring the pole from 7.5 to 10 feet. With a single hand, you can hold the handle and squeeze the trigger to raise the handle lower or higher. 

What also makes this model among the best in-ground basketball hoops is its double spring rim. Since the spring box has a cover, rusting will never be a problem. 

This hoop also utilizes Slam-It Pro Rim. Like Lifetime 71281, this model’s rim relies on an all-weather nylon net to support dunks. Additionally, double-compression springs give outside shooters the confidence to shoot from their perimeter. 

You’ll notice that the 54-inch backboard has steel structuring that withstands wear and damage. Since it uses Makrolon polycarbonate, this model becomes lightweight and resistant to impact, even at low temperatures. 

This backboard prides itself on being tough enough to take on dunks and hanging. Whether you want kids to start playing or you are training to enter the professional life, this hoop can support all kinds of play. 

The backboard isn’t as heavy as a tempered glass backboard. The good news is that installation is a lot simpler and faster. With a blow-molded backboard frame pad, the Lifetime 71525 delivers the ultimate shatterproof backboard. 

The powder coating and rust-resistant finish fortify the sturdiness of the whole basketball system. Also, the backboard won’t turn yellow over time.

In a nutshell, this hoop is great for anyone looking to get a decent basketball system at a modest price. It balances cost and quality, giving you a personal playing hoop for at least half a decade. 

Note that scratches may cause corrosion during prolonged use, although proper care and maintenance can lengthen its life. As a bonus, the Lifetime 71525 includes a five-year limited warranty. 

Product Highlights

  • Power Lift Height Adjustment Mechanism modifies the height from 7.5 to 10 feet. 
  • Polycarbonate backboard for shatterproof action 
  • Frame pads for additional backboard protection
  • Slam-It Pro Rim to support aggressive play
  • Steel pole guarantees robustness and security

Pros

  • Materials and structure designed for recreational play
  • Weather and rust-resistant coatings provide superior protection
  • User-friendly height adjustment mechanism lets kids play according to their height and playing level

Cons

  • Needs about four people to assemble
  • Hooks on the rim tend to break off over time 
Sale
Lifetime 71525 Height Adjustable In Ground...
  • Durable in-ground basketball goal designed for rugged, high-intensity play
  • 54-inch pro-look backboard made of sturdy Makrolon polycarbonate for shatter-proof action
  • Power Lift Height Adjustment Mechanism easily adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet using one hand

Best Adjustable In-Ground Basketball Hoop: Spalding NBA Aluminum Trim Glass Backboard In-Ground Basketball System

Spalding 54 Inch NBA Aluminum Trim Glass...

If you want a moderately-priced hoop with a big backboard and stable adjustment system, then look no further because the Spalding NBA In-Ground Basketball System will let your basketball prowess shine. 

Since 1983, Spalding has been the official ball supplier to the NBA, so you can expect the brand will only put its logo on high-quality basketball equipment. 

For stability, you can mount the two-piece, four-inch diameter steel pole into the ground. When you add cement to create a solid base, you’ll achieve maximum sturdiness that can survive the wear and tear from hardcore players. 

The pole has a convenient anchor process with a sleeve that makes installation easy. Considering the size of the backboard, the support pole has the appropriate size to hold other parts in place. 

Like the SB60, Lifetime 71525, and Lifetime 71281, you can adjust the height of this model from 7.5 to 10 feet. However, what sets the Spalding hoop apart from other models is its U-Turn Lift System, which anchors your backboard to either a pole, roof, or other flat surfaces. 

With only a turn of a handle, the lift system enables quick height adjustment. This mechanism allows you to adjust the exact height of the basket. 

There’s also a two-foot overhang, which means you’ll have plenty of space to move underneath the basket. Likewise, you’ll have ample playing court without taking much space from your backyard. 

Another unique feature is the Pro Image Breakaway Rim. The steel rim includes an all-weather net, making it safer to shoot and dunk without getting injured. 

More than that, the rim has a spring mechanism and metal cover for protection. Even though the rim tends to bounce a bit, it gives a near gym-quality basketball experience. Whether you want to host a driveway battle or a dunk contest, the rim can handle tough play. 

With a 60-inch backboard, the size of the Spalding hoop’s board is very close to professional dimensions. Since it optimizes tempered glass, the additional weight and rebound response makes playing more satisfying.

Although there is no backboard padding, this model incorporates aluminum trim as a glass case. That being the case, the casing can support 0.25-inch thick glass.

For a final touch, the edge of the glass backboard displays the NBA logo, making you feel as if you’re playing on the NBA court. 

Product Highlights

  • Tempered glass backboard for superior rebound
  • Steel board frame with aluminum trim for maximum stability
  • Pro Image Breakaway Rim for safer dunking
  • Four-inch diameter steel pole as a solid base
  • U-Turn lift system for quick height adjustment

Pros

  • Distance between the pole and backboard lets players play safely beneath it
  • Solid standing position secures the pole to the ground
  • Heavyweight design restricts rattling and shaking

Cons

  • Does not come with a pole padding
  • May require professional installation 
Spalding 54 Inch NBA Aluminum Trim Glass...
  • Board size: 54" x 32"
  • Tempered glass board; 2' offset
  • Steel board frame with aluminum trim

What Are In-Ground Basketball Hoops?

In-ground basketball systems are installed basketball hoops that are adjustable and take up less space. These cater to households to have their own rings for practice or casual play. Installing in-ground hoops is an affordable and easy way to have a permanent ring in your property. 

Backboard close up of an in-ground basketball hoop

Advantages of Using In-Ground Basketball Systems 

  • Adjustability: Since there are several different height adjustments, kids, teenagers, and adults can all enjoy in-ground hoops. 
  • Stability: In-ground systems involve cement installation, which means you can practice your playing style safely even if you are an aggressive player. 
  • Space-saving: Unlike portable systems, in-ground hoops don’t need a broad base for support. As long as the pole is installed to the ground, the hoop remains steady. 
  • Durable materials: In-ground systems are more permanent, and thus, can withstand the test of time. 
  • Safety: Permanent installation means digging into the ground and pouring the whole base with cement. This process removes the likeliness of tipping over and injuries during aggressive games. 

Features to Consider When Buying the Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Take a closer look at the factors that will help you pick the best in-ground basketball system. 

Support Pole

The most important feature to consider is the thickness of the pole. The pole must be sturdy and stable so that it can act as a supportive network to prevent accidents. The best in-ground hoops have steel posts with quality shafts for additional support.

Furthermore, the thickness has a direct correlation with the stability of the whole basketball system. The diameter usually ranges from 3.5 to four inches, to minimize shaking when you make shots or dunks. 

Both models from Lifetime provide 3.5-inch steel poles. On the other hand, SB54iG uses a 3.8-inch pole. The four-inch poles from SB60 and Spalding eliminate almost any wobbling. 

Height Adjustment 

Height is a crucial feature to help you customize an in-ground basketball system. Your chosen model should enable you to adjust the height to suit your size and height. This mechanism typically ranges from 5.5 to 10 feet, so that players with different heights can play comfortably. 

SB60 and SB54iG optimize a crank actuator to adjust the pole’s height up to 10 feet. Lifetime 71525 and Lifetime 71281 both use the Power Lift Height Adjustment Mechanism to modify the height from 7.5 to 10 feet.

Finally, Spalding makes use of its unique U-Turn Lift System to change the height between 7.5 to 10 feet. 

Rim 

The rim takes the most physical impact. Most in-ground hoops include breakaway rims that have a spring and hinge attached to the backboard. 

Rims bend downward when a player dunks a ball and snaps back into a horizontal position when the player releases it. Thus, rims dampen the impact of rebounds and dunks while providing maximum comfort. 

SB60 has a pro-style breakaway rim, while SB54iG includes a spring-activated breakaway rim. The hoops from Lifetime utilizes a Slam-It Pro Rim. Meanwhile, the Pro Image Breakaway Rim makes the Spalding hoop a standout. 

Backboard 

The backboard is another essential feature that can impact your playing experience. It determines how the ball bobs to and from the board. 

Make sure there’s an overhang or the distance between the pole and the backboard. A larger overhang gives more playing room, and subsequently, better court experience. 

Backboard Size

Professional basketball uses a 72-inch wide backboard, but this is too heavy for an in-ground system. In this case, it’s better to opt for 54 to 60-inch backboards. This size provides enough space for layups and dunks. 

An in-ground basketball hoop

At 52 inches, Lifetime 71281 has the smallest backboard. SB54iG and Lifetime 71525 have medium-sized backboards at 54 inches. The biggest ones come from SB60 and Spalding at 60 inches.

Backboard Material 

The material of the backboard determines how the ball will bounce. Hence, you must pick a backboard with high-quality materials. There are three options to choose from:

  • Tempered glass: Higher-end blackboards use advanced and durable glass that offers great rebound. Even though glass backboards are scratch-resistant, they tend to weigh heavier. This type is ideal for highly competitive play. 
  • Polycarbonate: A cheaper option but gives a lighter and softer rebound response. Another downside is that it tends to discolor and become brittle when exposed to the sun for too long. 
  • Acrylic: This is more durable than polycarbonate but has less bounce than tempered glass. 

The two hoops from Silverback and the Spalding hoop brag tempered glass backboards to provide the best bounce. Although the Lifetime 71281 and Lifetime 71525 use polycarbonate, this material is more durable than glass.

FAQ Section

Is It Legal to Install In-Ground Basketball Hoops?

The legality depends on your location. Therefore, you have to check with your local municipality, whether you can install one or not. Note that some places consider basketball hoops as “unsightly nuisances”.

Likewise, you need to check if there are any buried water, power, gas, and telecommunication lines underneath. You have to dig a deep hole for the installation, so it’s wise to call for an underground inspection to avoid hitting pipes or underground utility wires. 

There are states that do not allow digging within three feet of utility markings. Some locations require you to obtain a utility marking number. Remember, it’s your responsibility to survey the area where you plan to install the in-ground hoop.

Should I Call a Professional Installer? 

The decision is up to you, but seeking professional assistance may add up to your cost. Most products come with user manuals and installation guides, so you have to read those after opening the package. 

Rim close up of an in-ground basketball hoop

As long as you have the proper equipment and information, by all means, you can take on the project. 

How to Install the Best In-Ground Basketball Hoops?

The whole process may take about four to seven days. If you are not availing professional installation services, have two or three of your friends assist you with the process. 

  1. Dig a hole for the support pole: Depending on your ground conditions, the footing may vary. You may follow the manufacturer’s depth suggestion. Usually, you’ll need to dig a hole that is 18 to 24 inches in diameter and 36 to 48 inches deep. 
  2. Make a solid foundation: Pour about three to six inches of gravel at the bottom of the hole. Tamp the gravel down to create a flat surface. 
  3. Prepare concrete: Fill the entire hole with cement. Press the cement down and place the pole in the cement. Wait for two to three days for the concrete to dry. 
  4. Install the mounting plate: Assemble and install the mounting plate. The plate must be as level as possible to the playing surface.  
  5. Assemble the post: Mount the lower support arms to the post along with the lift mechanism. 
  6. Position the pole: For safety reasons, at least three people should handle the pole when placing it in an upright position. Set the pole over the anchors. Adjust the leveling nuts as necessary. 
  7. Affix the backboard and rim: It’s advisable for two people to lift the backboard while another person mounts it to the support arm. Attach the hoop to the backboard as the concrete dries. Installation may vary depending on the brand, but typically, you can string the net for the hoop. 
  8. Add finishing touches: If there are pads for the post and backboard, install those as well. Adjust the height according to your preference.

Where to Install An In-Ground Basketball System? 

Check local jurisdiction as to where you can place in-ground hoops. The most common location is next to a driveway so that you can use that space as a basketball court. You can also install a basketball system in your yard.

To give you a picture, a two-car driveway or larger should suffice. About 20 feet of paved surface is a decent space to install a hoop with enough overhang. 

Make sure to install the hoop away from cars and windows to avoid accidents. If you don’t have enough space, about 12 feet wide should be enough for players to move around. 

How to Maintain an In-Ground Basketball Hoop? 

To prolong the life of your basketball hoop, here are some care and safety measures you can follow:

A ball getting inside the rim of an in-ground basketball hoop
  • Check the basketball system for signs of corrosion, loose hardware, and excessive wear. Tighten any loose hardware or parts. 
  • Keep organic material, such as litter and grass, away from the pole to avoid deterioration. 
  • Use an emery cloth to remove chipped paint or rust. Apply two coats of rust preventative, high gloss enamel paint to the affected area.
  • Avoid hanging from any part of the basketball system.
  • Replace the pole if rust has penetrated through the steel. 
  • Clean the backboard using a glass cleaner and a 100% soft cotton cloth. Rinse the backboard with lukewarm water and dry with a 100% soft cotton cloth. 

Conclusion 

With the basketball systems you’ve discovered, you can get an adjustable hoop and long-lasting equipment. In-ground hoops imitate the performance of a professional NCAA or NBA hoop, so you’re guaranteed that the models deliver ultimate rebounds and playability. 

Whether you want your own ring for practice or family bonding, investing in the best in-ground basketball hoop is the way to go. This permanent installation provides stability, durability, and longevity, letting you hone your skills whenever you want.