Tempered glass backboard, 1-piece 5″ square pole, 2.5 foot overhang, anchor bolt installation
54″ inch backboard, no pole padding, installation requires time and effort
The 98856 is one of three basketball systems sold by Mammoth. It features a 3/8-inch thick tempered glass backboard, a 5-inch square pole, and a spring flex rim. A handle assist mechanism is used to to raise or lower the hoop between 7.5-10 feet. The overhang is 30-inches, which is the distance from the pole to the backboard. It’s installed using an anchor mount. The 98856 is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Dimensions: 4.4 x 37.6 x 6.3 inches ; 86 pounds.
What To Like
- Stable. In-ground systems are best for performance because they don’t wobble or move like most portable models. I think they also have the most professional look compared to the other types. To a basketball purist, this is the only way to go.
- Tempered glass backboard. This is the same material that is used for hoops in gymnasiums throughout the world, including college and the NBA. It won’t suffer any wear and tear unlike other materials such as acrylic, plus it’s way more sturdy. Because it’s a lot heavier, it’s much more resistant to movement. If you want performance, tempered glass is the only way to go. At 3/8 inches thick, it matches what most hoops have. Only the most expensive kinds have are 1/2″ thick.
- Pro-style rim. This is pretty much a given for a hoop like this, but a breakaway rim allows players to dunk with authority. Plus, it rewards players who have very good touch on their shots.
- 1-piece 5″ square pole. The one piece, square pole is the most sturdy combination. 5″ is about right considering the price, and is superior to what you’ll find with lesser quality models. The thicker the pole, the better it will play. The thickest pole I have seen is 8-inches that I saw on the Spalding 88724AAP.
- 2.5 foot overhang. Regulation overhang from the baseline to the backboard is 4 feet. For recreational purposes, 2.5 feet is sufficient. It gives players enough room to play behind the backboard and avoid bumping into the pole. If you want more of an overhang, it will cost you. The Goalrilla GLR GS I has a 4 foot overhang, but costs about $800 more.
- Anchor mount installation. This is the best type of installation for in-grounds because it can be removed, unlike direct burials.
What Not To Like
- 54″ backboard. It’s not that 54″ is too small, but for $1000 I would like to have a 60″. I say that because there are 60″ models in this price range. I certainly wouldn’t go lower than this size though.
- No pole padding. Not the end of the world, but this is an underrated feature for basketball hoops. It provides optimal safety and also gives it a more professional look. They are not exactly cheap either. Here is one that fits 5-inch poles: Pole and Gusset Pad.
- Installation. This is not an indictment on the hoop at all, but heavy-duty inground hoops require the most effort to install. It involves digging a huge hole in the ground, followed by pouring cement. You will also need probably at least 3 men to help with the assembly. Of course, you could always pay someone to do for you.
Reviews from Around the Web
Amazon.com: 5 Stars – ‘I recommend this goal to families with children….’
The Mammoth 98856 is ideal for those who want an above average basketball system for their home. The tempered glass provides optimal performance, as does the thick 5-inch pole and the pro-style rim. The complaints are very minor, and don’t relate at all to how it performs. If it had a larger backboard, I would have probably given it 4.5 stars. If you are looking for an in-ground system around $1000, this is definitely one to consider.
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