There are basketball courts everywhere in the world, but there are a handful legendary with history going back 50-60 years and newer must play courts so memorable they have to be included. Courts of the World takes a shot at identifying the top 10 outdoor streetball basketball courts.
Rucker Park – Harlem, New York City, USA
The court at Rucker Park is one of the most well-known in the world. It was started to give less-fortunate kids in Harlem an opportunity to get off the streets. Rucker Park was a famous proving ground for some of basketball’s greatest players of all-time.
The likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, all played at Rucker Park, developing the skills that led each into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The West Fourth Street Courts – Greenwich Village, New York City, USA
This outdoor court is more commonly known as “The Cage.” It’s a fitting name as the court is completely surrounded by a 20-foot fence. The court is undersized and is known for its games to get a little physical. The court is old-school at its best – an asphalt surface and an emphasis on physical basketball. College and NBA players like Walter Berry and Jayson Williams cut their teeth in The Cage.
Venice Beach Courts – Venice Beach, California, USA
There might not be any better scenery at an outdoor basketball court like those at Venice Beach in California. From any of the four courts, you can witness the beauty of Venice Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The location was featured in movie box office hits like White Men Can’t Jump and American History X. It is also the site of the Boost Mobile Elite 24 All-Star game, which features some of the best high school basketball players in the U.S.
Mosswood Park – Oakland, California, USA
The history of Mosswood Park, located in North Oakland, goes back to the 1950’s when a young Bill Russell was known to play a game or two there. Several more NBA legends came through the ranks playing in their youth at the park. Gary Payton and Jason Kidd are two of the best. Streetball legend Hook Mitchell completed a 360-degree dunk…over a car parked on the court. Mitchell completed the feat at just 5-feet-10-inches tall. It was witnessed by a young Drew Gooden, another NBA player from Oakland.
16th & Susquehanna – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
One of the most entertaining and talent-laden summer basketball tournaments was held at the courts at 16th and Susquehanna located in North Philadelphia. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some of Philadelphia’s best high school talent could be seen playing there. Guys like Bo Kimble, the late Hank Gathers, and Rasheed Wallace were frequent patrons of the courts on 16th Street. Games were well-attended as fans from the community would come to watch some of the best talent the city ever produced.
MacGregor Park – Houston, Texas, USA
The mecca of outdoor basketball in Texas is MacGregor Park, which laid the foundation for one of the most entertaining eras in college basketball. The court, which is partially enclosed to protect players from the extreme Texas summer heat, was the home of such legends as Clyde Drexler, Moses Malone, and Dale Thompson. The court is covered with a white tin roof, which makes every sound echo. Drexler developed his mad skills at MacGregor and, legend has it that back in the day, Hakeem Olajuwon and Most Malone went at it on the court at MacGregor Park.
Pigalle Outdoor Court – Paris, France
There is no comparison for the court at Pigalle, which pays tribute to the city of Paris and its urban art. Decked out in many bright hues, the PIgalle Court is far from the asphalt surfaces of other courts around the world.
The court was designed by Nike, which is almost synonymous with basketball. The combination of blues, reds, yellows, and whites makes this venue one of the more played courts in the city. It’s located smack in the middle of the Paris in between two rather large apartment buildings.
Dyckman Park – New York City, New York, USA
Located in the Washington Heights/Inwood section of Manhattan, Dyckman Park is home to one of the premier streetball tournaments in the world every summer. What started as a six-team tournament now has six different age divisions and upwards of 80 teams.
When not hosting a tournament or summer league games, Dyckman is home to some of the best runs in the city. Players like Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, Kemba Walker, Michael Beasley, Kevin Durant, and other NBA players have graced the courts at Dyckman.
City Wall Rooftop Court – Dubrovnik, Croatia
While not a storied history of streetball, the City Wall Rooftop Court in Dubrovnik has become one of the most beautiful and unique locations to shoot the ball.
Jackson Park – Chicago, Illinois, USA
It is one of the U.S.’s iconic parks located right next to Mt. Carmel High School. There are two courts next to each and two more directly across the street. Known as “The Cages” among locals, the courts and park offer a view of Lake Michigan to the East. There have been some legendary players come through and play at The Cages including Antoine Walker, former NFL QB Donovan McNabb, and even a U.S. President – Barack Obama.
Below are courts considered for the 10 ten and deserve honorable mention:
The David Crombie Court – Toronto, Canada
The Dome – Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The San Pedro basketball court at the Angles Gate – San Pedro, California, USA
Barry Farms Housing Community – Washington DC, USA
Kalemegdan – Belgrade, Serbia
Tandy Rec. Center – St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Harbourfront Community Centre Outdoor Court – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Green Lake – Seattle, Washington, USA
Israels Plads – Copenhagen, Denmark
Styra Basketball Court – Athens, Greece
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