The Top 7 Best In-Ground Basketball Hoops

A high-quality basketball hoop will bring you years of fun. It’s a great place for the kids of the neighborhood to meet up, practice their skills, and compete in shooting games.

But, that doesn’t mean adults can’t have fun with it, too. After a hard day of work, being able to relax and shoot hoops in your own driveway or backyard is just absolutely priceless.

Nowadays, most homeowners opt for the versatility of portable basketball hoops, but those tend to rattle and shake after every shot. If you have enough space to install a permanent basketball hoop, go for it – you will have a lot more fun!

This article aims to help you find the in-ground basketball hoop that’s perfect for you. I am going to explain what you need to look for and show you some of the most popular basketball hoops on the market:

The best in-ground basketball hoops for every budget:

Basketball HoopBackboard SizeBackboard MaterialSupport PolePrice
Lifetime 90020
48 inches
Polycarbonate3.5" round $268.61
Lifetime 7152554 inchesPolycarbonate3.5" round $337.89
Goaliath 54″ GoTek 54 inchesAcrylic 3.5" round $499.99
Spalding NBA System60 inches1/4" Tempered Glass4" x 4" $662.65
Silverback SB 6060 inches5/16" Tempered Glass4" x 4" $899.95
Goalrilla GS 5454 inches3/8" Tempered Glass5" x 5" from $1,299.95
Goalrilla GS 7272 inches3/8" Tempered Glass6" x 6" $1,799.99

Permanent basketball hoops are not cheap, and, once they are installed, they often stay for decades, so it makes sense to plan the installation carefully. Here is all you need to know:

Before buying an in-ground basketball hoop:

Legal restrictions:

If you plan to install the basketball hoop in your driveway or backyard, make sure you are legally allowed to do so. Unfortunately, many HOA or municipalities have strict rules against “unsightly nuisances”. You really don’t want to install an expensive basketball hoop just to find out you have to remove it again a few days later. If permanent basketball hoops are not allowed, check out my article about portable basketball hoops.

Check for underground utility lines:

Permanent basketball hoops require you to dig a pretty deep hole (usually 48 inches) for the goal post. Make sure there are no underground utility lines where you want to put the hoop. There is a free service that can tell you where you can dig safely. Find out more at www.call811.com.

Dimensions of the court

Measure your driveway, backyard, or wherever you want to install the hoop. A regulation NBA basketball half-court is 50ft x 47ft ( 50ft x 42ft for high school), but of course, your court doesn’t have to be that big. Let’s assume a typical overhang of 2ft (distance from goal post to backboard) plus another 2ft of clearance behind the hoop for the height adjustment mechanism. The distance of the high school 3-point line is 19’9″, so if you want to have at least 3 feet space behind the three-point line, you will need a court about 27 feet long.

If you don’t have that much space, however, and the dimensions of your court are going to be significantly smaller, it might make sense to stick with a smaller hoop with less overhang and a smaller backboard. This way, your court doesn’t shrink even more and the dimensions don’t look completely out of whack.

What to look for when buying an in-ground basketball:

If you have decided to buy an in-ground basketball there are a lot of options to choose from. The main differences are the thickness of the goal post, the size, material, and overhang of the backboard as well as the quality of the rim. Let’s take a closer look:

Support Pole

Installation of the Support Pole:

The support pole is the foundation of every basketball hoop and responsible for its stability. Cheaper hoops often come with a multi-piece support pole where the bottom pole is directly inserted into a 24″ hole filled with fresh concrete. This installation can be a bit tricky because you need to make sure the pole is perfectly vertical as you won’t be able to adjust the support pole later.

More expensive hoops come with an anchor kit. The construction of the anchor kits is pretty much the same for all in-ground basketball hoops and usually requires a digging depth of 48″. This means you will need anywhere between 8-25 bags (80lbs) of concrete!

One big advantage of this construction is you can later level the backboard by adjusting the nuts of the J-Bolts beneath the anchor plate.


example anchor kit

You can check out an example of anchor plate installation in this instructional video.

Thickness of Support Pole:

You want the pole to be as sturdy as possible to keep the shaking of the hoop after shots (or dunks) to a minimum. Cheaper hoops often come with thinner support poles (3.5″ round diameter) lacking the necessary stability for a professional playing experience.

The top-of-the-class hoop in this article needs a massive 6″ x 6″ pole to support its heavy 72-inch tempered glass backboard. A support pole like that eliminates almost all wobbling. Even Shaquille O’Neal himself could dunk on this hoop!

Height Adjustment:

Most of the basketball hoops sold today are height-adjustable and allow you to lower the rim to 7.5 feet. This is very useful for kids who are not yet strong enough to shoot on a regular 10ft goal and it’s also great fun for adults who want to feel like Russell Westbrook destroying a 9ft rim. 🙂

However, the height adjustment mechanic is also a source of instability. If you don’t plan to adjust the height, it might make sense to pass on this feature and go for a fixed height hoop.

Backboard

Size of the Backboard:

The regulation backboard used in the NBA and NCAA is 72 inches wide and 42 inches high. These huge backboards weigh a ton and are therefore reserved for the most expensive and massive basketball hoops.

More affordable basketball hoops usually start with backboards that are 48 inches wide, but the most common dimensions are 54 or 60 inches. These backboards allow you more than enough space for bank shots and layups – 72 inches is only necessary for the most advanced basketball purists out there.

Material of Backboard:

Entry-level backboards are often made from Polycarbonate because this material is very light and durable. Unfortunately, as polycarbonate is so light and soft, the rebound response of polycarbonate backboards just doesn’t feel right.

This is especially true if you are used to high-quality indoor hoops. Another weakness of Polycarbonate is that it tends to discolor and get yellow after being exposed to the sun for too long.

Acrylic backboards are a little more expensive and their transparency offers a much more professional look. Unfortunately, acrylic is a very soft material and will pick up scratches over time, which will slowly spoil the great look.

Acrylic is very popular with hoops in the moderate price range because it weighs considerably less than tempered glass. This reduction of weight means that the support structure doesn’t have to be as sturdy in order to support the weight of the backboard. Unfortunately, lighter basketball hoops are more susceptible to wind, and the rebound response of the backboard is only average.

Professional backboards, on the other hand, are made of tempered glass. This material is very hard, scratch-resistant, and offers the best rebound response. You also won’t find any discoloration, even after years.

Because of the heavy weight of tempered glass, moderately priced hoops often use relatively thin layers of glass (1/4″). The top-notch hoops feature glass backboards that are up to twice as thick.

A 72-inch wide backboard will easily weigh over 100lbs and will be completely unfazed by the impact of a basketball, offering a playing experience like no other. If you want to see an example of a basketball hoop like that, check out the Goalrilla GS 72 .

Overhang of the backboard:

On an official NBA basketball court, the distance between the baseline and the backboard is defined to be 4 feet. This allows players to attack the rim without crashing into the support pole. It also enables them to dribble underneath the basket. If you want to do the same, you need a hoop featuring a large overhang (distance between backboard and goal post).

Cheaper hoops like the Lifetime 90020 offer a relatively small overhang of only 22″. However, if you only have a small driveway, this can actually be an advantage as it saves a lot of space.

More expensive (and heavier) hoops offer up to 4 feet of overhang and allow for much more under-the-basket action. 3ft of overhang is a good compromise between stability and enough space for reverse layups.

Rim

Almost all in-ground basketball hoops come with breakaway rims. Rims like that dampen the impact of shots and make rebounds a bit shorter. They are also much more comfortable if you want to hang on the rim after a powerful dunk.

If you are buying a hoop, make sure the springs of the breakaway mechanism are covered to prevent rust and ensure longer durability.

covered breakaway rim

Alright, let’s take a look at the features of some of the most popular in-ground basketball hoops:

Basketball Hoop
Features
Price: $268.61
on Amazon
Build Quality: starstar_borderstar_border
  • Very affordable beginner hoop
  • Installation is easy
  • Works best for young kids <13 years
Price: $268.61
Buy on Amazon
Price: $337.89
on Amazon
Build Quality: starstar_halfstar_border
  • Kids can adjust height on their own
  • 54-inch backboard allows bank shots and layups
  • Good option in the affordable price range
Price: $337.89
Buy on Amazon
Price: $499.99
from DICK's
Build Quality: starstarstar_border
  • 54-inch backboard made from lightweight acrylic
  • Support pole is installed directly into the ground and secured with concrete
  • Entry-level basketball hoop with very good build-quaility
Price: $499.99
Buy from DICK's
Price: $662.65
on Amazon
Build Quality: starstarstar_border
  • Big 60-inch tempered glass backboard
  • Affordable option for serious basketball players
  • Challenging installation
Price: $662.65
Buy on Amazon
Price: $899.95
on Amazon
Build Quality: starstarstar_half
  • Big 60-inch backboard at an affordable price
  • Anchor mounting system gives you the option to move the hoop
  • Instructions are very clear and installation is a breeze
Price: $899.95
Buy on Amazon
Build Quality: starstarstar
  • Premium build quality with no shaking at all
  • Thicker 54-inch tempered glass backboard
  • High-quality basketball hoop at a fair price
Price: $1,299.95
Buy on Amazon
+1 more store
Deals for Goalrilla GS 54
Amazon.com
$1,299.95
DICK's
$1,299.99
These links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Prices last updated on April 15, 2021 10:17
from DICK's
Build Quality: starstarstar
  • Regulation-sized 72-inch tempered glass backboard
  • Very sturdy one-piece 6″x6″ pole supports the 3ft overhang
  • Premium basketball hoop that offers an experience as close as possible to professional indoor hoops
Price: $1,799.99
Buy from DICK's

The Best In-ground Basketball Hoops:

In the following paragraphs we will take a closer look and talk about the pros and cons of each basket:

Lifetime 90020

Technical Specifications:
Backboard Size:48 inches
Backboard Material:Polycarbonate
Height:7.5 - 10 feet
Overhang:22 inches
Support Pole:3.5-inch round
Price: $268.61 on Amazon

Lifetime is a company known for producing very affordable basketball hoops of good quality. The 90020 is on the lower end of their price spectrum and a great option if you are looking for a first basketball hoop for your kids. Compared to their cheaper portable models, the overhang of 22 inches allows a decent amount of under-the-basket play and reduces the danger of crashing into the goal post.

The backboard of the Lifetime 90200 makes bank shots a bit tricky because it is only 48 inches wide and much smaller than a professional 72″ backboard. The small size, combined with the very light material (Polycarbonate), makes the required digging depth (24″) very manageable and a massive support pole unnecessary.

Compared to heavier and more expensive hoops, the stability and sturdiness of this hoop can be a bit disappointing. The hoop will rattle for a few seconds after every shot, especially after long three-pointers. At this affordable price, you just can’t expect to get a completely rattle-free hoop.

Overall, the Lifetime 90200 is a good option for kids who want to shoot a few baskets in their driveway. If you are looking for a more professional playing experience, you will want to look into sturdier, more stable basketball hoops.

Price: $268.61
Buy on Amazon

Lifetime 71525

Technical Specifications:
Backboard Size:54 inches
Backboard Material:Polycarbonate
Height:7.5 - 10 feet
Overhang:22 inches
Support Pole:3.5-inch round
Price: $337.89 on Amazon

The Lifetime 71525 improves on one of the biggest weaknesses of the 90020 and comes with a bigger 54-inch backboard. This is a welcome change and allows players to make bank shots and layups more easily. Apart from the size of the backboard, the tech specs are pretty similar. The backboard is also made from the same Polycarbonate, the overhang of 22″ is identical and the support pole is equally thick (3.5″).

What is different, however, is the height adjustment mechanism. While the 90020 Action Grip adjustment allows you to adjust the height in 6″ increments, the 71525 allows you to adjust the height between 7.5′ to 10′ in infinite increments. The power lift pole is easy to use and allows kids to adjust the hoop on their own. Great news if you have kids of different ages! Unfortunately, the adjustment mechanism is also a source of instability, so don’t expect this hoop to be as stable as fixed-height baskets you know from the gym.

Overall, the Lifetime 71525 is a great option if you are looking for a beginner, in-ground hoop with a decent-sized backboard.

Price: $337.89
Buy on Amazon

Goaliath 54″ GoTek

Technical Specifications:
Backboard Size:54 inches
Backboard Material:Infinity Edge Acrylic
Height:7.5 - 10 feet
Overhang:24 inches
Support Pole:3.5-inch round
Price: $499.99 from DICK's

Goalrilla, one of the industry-leading basketball hoop manufacturers, was founded in 1991 and is known for producing some of the highest quality basketball goals available on the market.

When you start your research, their product range might be a bit confusing as it is split into three different brands: Goaliath, Silverback, and Goalrilla. Of these three brands, Goaliath is focused on entry-level products that offer a good playing experience while remaining affordable – the Goaliath 54″ GoTek is just that!

The 54-inch Acrylic backboard has a very sleek look and provides a decent rebound response while being much lighter than more expensive tempered glass backboards. This reduction of weight means that the Goaliath GoTek gets away with a much thinner support pole (only 3.5 inches in diameter) compared to other hoops.

Installation is a breeze as the hoop comes partially assembled and you don’t have to dig such a massive hole as you need for heavier basketball goals. The support pole is directly installed into the concrete which removes a source of instability, but has one big downside: If you need to move in the near future, it will be very hard to take the hoop with you.

Overall, the Goaliath 54″ GoTek is a perfect choice if you are looking for a high-quality product that doesn’t break the bank. This hoop will last you a long time and is especially well-suited for kids or beginner-to-intermediate basketball players who don’t rely on the authentic experience of a heavy glass backboard, large overhang and perfect rebound response.

Price: $499.99
Buy from DICK's

Spalding NBA Aluminium Trim Glass

Technical Specifications:
Backboard Size:60 inches
Backboard Material:1/4-inch tempered glass
Height:7.5 - 10 feet
Overhang:24 inches
Support Pole:4x4 inches
Price: $662.65 on Amazon

This Spalding basketball hoop is one of the cheapest options with a big 60-inch backboard made of tempered glass. And believe me, a backboard like this makes all the difference. The size is very close to professional dimensions and the additional weight and rigidity of the tempered glass make the rebound response much more satisfying. If you like to finish your layups high off the glass, this hoop is for you!

The adjustment mechanism is very stable, but a bit difficult to use. Kids probably can’t adjust the height of this basket on their own. Combine the sturdy 4″x4″ support pole with the heavyweight and stable adjustment mechanism and you have a basketball hoop that restricts rattling and shaking to very acceptable levels.

The overhang of 24″ is still far away from allowing the official 4ft distance between backboard and baseline, but this also means you don’t need a huge backyard for this hoop.

If you are looking for a moderately-priced basketball hoop with a big backboard and good build quality, the Spalding NBA system is a great option.

Price: $662.65
Buy on Amazon

Silverback SB 60

Technical Specifications:
Backboard Size:60 inches
Backboard Material:5/16″ tempered glass
Height:7.5 - 10 feet
Overhang:30 inches
Support Pole:4x4 inches
Price: $899.95 on Amazon

In Goalrilla’s lineup of brands, Silverback is a step up from Goaliath and focuses on mid-range products that offer great bang-for-the-buck. Compared to the Goaliath Go Tek, the Silverback SB 60 is a bit more expensive but also offers more advanced features:

The heavy 60-inch tempered glass backboard gives you a much nicer rebound experience, and the added 6 inches make it much easier to practice your “Tim Duncan” angled bank shots.

The heavier backboard is supported by a 4″ x 4″ support pole that comes with an anchor kit. If you ever need to move, you just install a new anchor kit, and moving the basketball hoop will be no problem!

The 2.5-foot overhang allows for more action under the rim and makes it harder to crash into the pole after a driving layup.

The installation of the Silverback SB60 is pretty easy but you should plan for enough time to let the concrete cure and get two buddies to help with the assembly of the heavy backboard. If done right – you will have a basketball hoop that is super stable and will keep shaking within very acceptable levels.

Check this Youtube video to get an impression of the build quality:

Overall, the Silverback SB 60 is a great pickup in the moderate price range and perfect for intermediate to more advanced basketball players who are okay with a little bit of shaking if it saves them $500. If you are looking for the full premium experience keep reading and check out the Goalrilla hoops coming next!

Price: $899.95
Buy on Amazon

Goalrilla GS 54

Technical Specifications:
Backboard Size:54 inches
Backboard Material:3/8-inch tempered glass
Height:7.5 - 10 feet
Overhang:30 inches
Support Pole:5x5 inches
Price: from $1,299.95

The Goalrilla brand is known for the premium quality of its basketball hoops. The GS 54 is their entry model and comes with a heavy 54″ backboard made of thicker 3/8th-inch tempered glass.

Now you might wonder: why is the GS54 much more expensive than the Silverback SB 60 even though it comes with a smaller backboard?

The answer is simple: the backboard is made of thicker glass which makes it heavier and gives you a much nicer rebound response. The support pole is made from a single, 5″x5″ (compared to 4″x4″) piece of solid steel connected to the 48″ (compared to 36″) deep concrete base via an anchor kit.

This super-solid construction ensures there is pretty much no shaking or wobbling. While the SB60 is meant to provide great bang-for-the-buck, the GS54 offers a true premium experience for basketball players who don’t want to compromise.

The Goalrilla GS 54 fits perfectly in smaller backyards or driveways where a giant 72-inch basketball hoop would look completely out of place. It’s the go-to-pick if you are looking for a hoop that will last you for years and keep rattling and shaking to an absolute minimum!

Price: $1,299.95
Buy on Amazon
+1 more store

Goalrilla GS 72

Technical Specifications:
Backboard Size:72 inches
Backboard Material:3/8″ tempered glass
Height:7.5 - 10 feet
Overhang:36 inches
Support Pole:6x6 inches
Price: $1,799.99 from DICK's

The Goalrilla GS72 is for the basketball purists out there! It comes with a giant (and incredibly heavy) 72-inch backboard – the same dimensions are used in the NBA!

This heavy backboard is supported by a massive 6″ x 6″ support pole that makes sure there is no rattling and shaking even though the hoop features a generous 3-feet overhang.

Currently, there are two versions of the GS72 on the market: the older GS72 and the newer GS72C. The only difference between the two versions is that the GS72 backboard is held with two “H brackets” while the GS72C moved the arms to the outside of the backboard giving it a clearview backboard.

There really isn’t that much more to tell! The GS 72 comes with all the features of the GS 54 but takes it to the next level in terms of dimensions. This is the cream of the crop! Get two of these and your backyard is ready for MTV cribs:-)

Price: $1,799.99
Buy from DICK's

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a hoop for your young kids or beginner basketball players I recommend the Goaliath GoTek It’s affordable, high quality, and will offer years of fun!

More advanced players looking for great bang for the buck should look into the Silverback SB 60 or Spalding Aluminum Trim .

If you are looking for the premium, authentic NBA experience then the Goalrilla GS 72 is your pick!

2 thoughts on “The Top 7 Best In-Ground Basketball Hoops”

  1. Excellent article! Very informative and helped guide me in my search about in ground b-ball hoops.

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