Do you find yourself calling your shot when throwing your napkin into the trash, or bouncing ping pong balls idly off your ceiling? Maybe it’s time to add some follow-through to meet your athletic and entertainment goals. Whether you live in a small apartment or want to practice your three-pointers on the driveway, there’s a place for some basketball gear in your life. Here are our favorite picks.
Instead of surfing the news when you have a short break in your work schedule, shoot some hoops without leaving your office (or even your desk). This 18-inch-long and 12-inch-wide backboard has a net with a 9-inch steel rim that easily hooks over the top of a door and comes with a 5-inch mini basketball. While it’s not the same as a workout, you can easily blow off some steam, get a quick stretch, and procrastinate to your heart’s content. The backboard is made from polycarbonate plastic to withstand a tough game.
Convincing kids (or yourself) to get off the couch, stop playing video games, and do something active can be a real challenge. This fun arcade-style basketball game is a great compromise you can set up in a finished basement or rec room. It features two side-by-side hoops for multiple players and over sixteen different games you can play, with an infrared sensor system to keep track of the score (with 98 percent accuracy). You won’t get an aerobic workout, but you will exercise your arms, and you can create a court-like ambiance with the game’s LED scoreboard and sound effects.
You don’t need to have a hoop to have a lot of fun bouncing a basketball around outside. Practice dribbling, fancy pivots, or learn some tricks, as long as you have a hard surface to play on like a sidewalk or even the floor of your garage. This rubber ball is 29.5 inches in diameter—the official size for college hoops—and has a durable surface that’s easy to grip. Add air to the ball as needed with a bike pump, lest you have your own deflategate in a tourney with your kids.
If you’ve got some outdoor space, you can install this basketball hoop yourself into the ground. The height of the backboard adjusts with a hand-crank from a fun 7.5 feet up to the NBA standard of 10 feet. Enlist your kids or housemates to help you dig a hole and sink the pole with the aid of some concrete to maximize stability. Practice layups against the 54-inch-wide and 33-inch-high backboard, and notice how the breakaway rim flexes like a pro model as it kicks your misfire off into your opponent’s eager hands.