72″ backboard, 180 degree breakaway rim, one-piece 8-inch square pole, 4 ft. overhang, gusset padding, j-bolt installation
Acrylic backboard, assembly
The 88724AAP is the top of the line basketball hoop from Spalding. It features a 72″ acrylic backboard, a one-piece square 8-inch pole, and a 4″ foot overhang. The 180 degree breakaway rim is exactly what’s used at the college and professional levels. The adjustment ranges from 7-10 feet, and is done using the U-Turn Pro system. A safety stop prevents the backboard from being lowered below 6’6″. J-Bolts and a ground anchor are used for the in-ground installation. Spalding backs the 88724AAP with a lifetime limited warranty.
What To Like
- Stable. No other type of hoop is as stable, durable, and rigid as an in-ground.
- Crank adjust. It’s the most accurate and dependable, though it does require some manual labor to raise and lower the hoop. It’s the most resistant to wear and tear. The handle is removable for safety purposes. You can achieve any height between 7 and 10 feet, which is ideal for children and adults who want to dunk the basketball.
- 72″ backboard. This is regulation size, which is what basketball enthusiasts want since it replicates what you would play on in a gym. The bigger the backboard, the better, and it doesn’t get any bigger than this.
- 180 degree breakaway rim. This rim in particular is only reserved for the highest quality hoops on the market, and is the same type used in college and the pros. The unique feature is that it gives from all angles, whereas all the other breakaway rims give only from front to back. This ultimately takes even less pressure off the backboard, and is better for dunking.
- 4 ft. overhang. The more overhang, the more space players have to maneuver under the basket without having to worry about running into the pole. Not to mention that it gives players a similar feel to what you would get playing in a gym. This amount of space is pretty close to what you would see at the pro level. Lesser quality hoops usually have a 1-2 ft. overhang, or none at all.
- One-piece 8-inch square pole. I don’t believe there is a thicker pole on the market, nor a better one for that matter. If you look at a lot of lower to mid level hoops, they typically have 3-4 inch round poles that come in sections of 3. A one-piece is the best because it provides the most stability. Square poles are superior to round ones for the exact same reason. And 8-inches provides enough support to accommodate a 72-inch backboard and a 4 ft overhang.
- Padding. Not all hoops have padding, and it’s hard to understand why. Nonetheless, this is a really thick pad that increases player safety. What separates it from the Spalding 88880G is the presence of gusset padding, which covers the bolts used to install the system. This prevents players from tripping or rolling an ankle when stepping on it.
- J-Bolt installation. This is the best type of in-ground installation. It allows the hoop to be removed if desired, as it’s bolted to the anchor. It also allows you to assemble the hoop completely before setting it up.
What Not To Like
- Acrylic backboard. Tempered glass is much better for performance, so this one is a bit of a head scratcher. Acrylic is still a pretty strong material and looks just like glass, and withstand power dunking. However, it’s more prone to scratching and attracting mildew. The ball won’t bounce off quite as well with acrylic. The one upside however is that it’s 1/2 thick and supported by a steel frame to give it more rigidity.
- Assembly/installation. A basketball hoop this robust is going to take some man power and time to assemble and install. A customer on Amazon believes it’s a 3 man job, though 4 is optimal. He also said that it will probably take more than one day, depending on how many people you have helping.
- Not for driveways. It’s too big to install on a driveway, so a basketball court must be in place somewhere on your property.
Reviews from Around the Web
Amazon.com: 5 Stars – ‘This Hoop Rocks….’
The Spalding 88724AAP is almost the complete package. It has the regulation size backboard, a pro-style rim, a robust pole, a 4 ft overhang, and j-bolt installation. However, tempered glass is superior to acrylic as far as performance is concerned. That is the only knock. Overall, it still ranks up there with some of the best basketball systems available.
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