What Makes a Basketball Court Great?

The outdoor basketball court. We have mapped over 35,000 of them, and you’ll find them in every city and town in America. You’ll find them all over the world, too. But, what makes a basketball court great?

The Cage in Greenwich Village

The Facility

Some basketball courts are simply nicer than others and it has something to do with how the entire facility was made. Consider the surface. Some are made from macadam, others concrete, and some synthetic. Some have cracks, uneven, sloping, and holes.

Regardless of the makeup of the surface, those that are well cared for make for a great court. Take Rucker Park in Harlem as a the ultimate example. The surface is painted with traditional court markings including 3-point lines. There are bleachers for fans to watch and there are lights to play well into the night.

Some of the game’s greatest players like Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Kyrie Irving have played there adding to Rucker Park’s mystique, and just an experience playing where greats have done before.

The Atmosphere

Speaking of mystique, there is a certain atmosphere that great basketball courts have. Rucker Park has it. The Cage, also in New York has it. Chicago’s Jackson Park and the court at 16th and Susquehanna in North Philadelphia have it too. Philadelphia stars like Lionel Simmons and the late Hank Gathers played in legendary summer leagues at 16th and Susquehanna.

16th and Susquehanna

There is an atmosphere of competition at certain courts around the world. It’s an atmosphere that draws people to stop what locals are doing and watch a pickup basketball game, and a destination from those in the area or hoopers visiting town.

Location, Location, Location

In the world of real estate, realtors will tell prospective buyers and sellers the three most important principles in the industry: location, location, and location.

It’s the same for great basketball courts. Rucker Park is smack in the middle of Harlem. Jackson Park is located on the South Side of Chicago not far from the shores of Lake Michigan.

California Hooping

The basketball courts at Venice Beach are surrounded by palm trees, sun, and sand. And, there’s the Pacific Ocean, which is a hop, skip, and a jump away. The same is true of the court at San Pedro, which is also in California. Located at Angels Gate Park, the court at San Pedro offers a clear view of the vast Pacific Ocean.


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