How to Build a Freestanding Basketball Goal

Written by steve miller
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How to Build a Freestanding Basketball Goal
A finished freestanding basketball goal. (red basketball hoop image by Warren Millar from

When it comes down to it, basketball goals are very simple to construct. After all, the first basketball goals were built by Dr. James Naismith back in 1891 with a couple of peach baskets affixed 10 feet up on a wall, according to Sports Know How, an online sports reference site. You can build a freestanding basketball goal that has the basic requirements: a backboard, a hoop and a pole.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 4- by 4-inch wood post 15-1/2-feet long
  • Plywood board 6 feet by 3 1/2 feet
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • 8 3-inch bolts
  • Metal basketball hoop (18-in. diameter)
  • Shovel
  • Bag of concrete

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  1. 1

    Position your precut plywood backboard piece at the top of the wood post so that the very top of the backboard is positioned at the very top edge of the post.

  2. 2

    Mark the spots, using your pencil, where you will drill four bolts into the top of the backboard and the bottom of the backboard. These bolts will attach the backboard to the post.

  3. 3

    Drill the eight holes small enough that the bolts will not have any wiggle room when they are screwed in. For instance, if you have a 3/4" bolt, use a 1/2" drill bit. Make sure you drill your hole all the way through to the back beam.

  4. 4

    Screw in the bolts all the way through to the back post. Make sure they are securely fastened and the backboard is perfectly square.

  5. 5

    Fasten the basketball rim you have purchased to the backboard. Typically, store-bought basketball rims come with the proper hardware to fasten them to your backboard.

  6. 6

    Dig a 2-foot-deep hole wide enough to accommodate your wood post.

  7. 7

    Mix your bag of concrete with water, and fill the hole three-fourths of the way full with concrete.

  8. 8

    Sink the post into the hole, ensure the post is perfectly vertical, and fill in the hole with the remaining concrete.

  9. 9

    Let the concrete dry for a day, and you're ready to play some ball!

Tips and warnings

  • Your backboard will last longer if you use a more durable material, such as fibreglass.
  • You can buy a rim at a sporting goods store. In 2010, the price was about £13.
  • If your hoop is crooked or is not exactly 10 feet, simply grab a ladder, unfasten your backboard and repeat Steps 1-4.
  • For a more realistic-looking backboard, paint a 2-foot-by-2-foot black square above the rim.

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