Whether you are training for the NBA, gunning for a college scholarship or just enjoy shooting some hoops, there's nothing like having a convenient place to play basketball. And though some courts can be as elaborate as the Boston Garden, making a basic, effective basketball court is easier than you may think.
You can't build a basketball court without knowing where it's going to be. First, decide whether your court will be indoors, outdoors or in the backyard, and whether it will be a full court or a half court. For that, you need to know your dimensions:
Professional and college basketball full court: 94 feet long by 50 feet wide
High school court: 84 feet long by 50 feet wide
Junior high school court: 74 feet long by 42 feet wide.
Of course, if you only have room for, or only want, a half court, then you will need only about 30 to 35 feet.
Step 3 will provide dimensions and distances for the foul line, three-point line and painted area.
Outdoor courts need to be level. It will save a significant amount of time and money if the ground for your court is already paved, either with concrete or blacktop. If the court is indoor, you will need to lay hardwood flooring. Needless to say, this will be very costly.
Similarly, if your designated space is not yet paved, you will run into significant costs at this step with either the concrete or blacktop paving.
Lay out your dimensions. After deciding whether you want to create a professional, collegiate or high school court, use a tape measure and either white tape or chalk to measure your dimensions and distances.
For the foul line, painted areas, circle and three-point lines, I would strongly suggest using a basketball stencil kit. These are easily available online and in 2009 can be purchased starting at £19.40.
Once the dimensions are laid out, you're going to need a basket or two. You can choose between a pole hoop, which will need to be placed about one and one-half feet into the ground, or a movable basket.
While both pole hoops and movable baskets come with adjustable heights for the baskets, the pole itself will be immobile. If that is a concern for you, a movable basket may be a better alternative.
Keep in mind that when you install the pole or set up the movable basket, you should give at least three feet from the baseline (out of bounds line), so players are not at risk of running into the pole or basket during play.
All that's left now is how you want to paint the court, which is really totally up to you. You can paint the court the colours of your favourite team (Lakers fans may opt for purple and gold, while Celtics fans may prefer white and green), or you can go with a solid colour for everything but the "painted" area, or the box within the foul line.
If there will be dunking, make sure that you get a breakaway rim--one that gives when somebody dunks on it.