72″ tempered glass backboard, 1-piece square 6-inch pole, 4 ft. overhang, J-bolt and pier installation. Very Sturdy Hoop System. Great for rough play and can handle a lot of abuse.
Too big for Some. (72″ Backboard). Takes two strong people to install.
The Spalding 88880G is one of the top in-ground systems sold by Spalding, and is designed only for dedicated playing areas. It features a 72-inch tempered glass backboard, a 6-inch square pole, and J-Bolt anchoring system. It adjusts from 7-10 feet with the use of a crank adjust system. Also included is the Flex breakaway rim, a 1-piece 6 inch square pole covered with padding, and a 4 ft. overhang. It’s backed by a 5-year limited warranty.
What To Like
- 72″ tempered glass backboard. At 72″, it’s the same size and material that the NCAA and NBA use. The glass isn’t quite as thick at 3/8″, as the NBA backboards are 1/2 thick. While this size is ideal for performance, it’s only suitable for dedicated playing areas or a 3 car driveway. Anything less, and the hoop will be too big.
- Sturdy. In-ground hoops are naturally sturdy, plus it weighs 450 pounds. The backboard doesn’t wobble at all when the ball is shot. Tempered glass is 4-6 times heavier than acrylic.
- Crank adjust. The hoop is adjusted with the turn of a handle. This system is reliable and allows you to set the height anywhere between 7 and 10 feet.
- Flex breakaway rim. This rim is heavy-duty and suited for dunking. It’s similar to what you would find in a gymnasium.
- 4 ft. overhang. The regulation overhang is 5 ft. so this isn’t far off. Plus, 4 ft. provides plenty of space for for play underneath and behind the backboard. It also allows players to avoid bumping into the pole. The image to the right shows the overhang (distance from pole to backboard). The more space there is, the more expensive the hoop will be.
- 1-piece 6-inch square pole. The thickest pole I have seen is 8-inches, so 6 is right up there. The thicker the pole, the more it feels like a professional backboard when the ball bounces off of it. 1-piece, square poles are superior to their counterparts because they limit vibration. It seems that most hoops under $1000 have 2 or 3 piece poles, so this is certainly an upgrade.
- Pole padding. This prevents players from injuring themselves in the event that they run into it. The downside however is that the padding doesn’t cover the exposed bolts from the concrete.
- J-bolt and pier installation. The pole is actually bolted to a hinged plate, which allows you to assemble the hoop while it’s lying down. It can also be removed easier than the other types of installations.
What Not To Like
- Too big for most. No question, we all want the biggest backboard. But 72″ is too big for 1 or two car driveways, which is what most people have. To accommodate this hoop, you’ll either need a 3 car driveway or a court in your backyard.
- Installation. While it uses the best type of installation, it still requires a good deal of time and effort. In fact, if you aren’t handy, then hiring a contractor to handle the assembly and installation might be the best option. This hoop weighs a ton, so 3 or more people may be needed to lift it up once it’s bolted into the plate.
Reviews from Around the Web
Amazon.com: (3)5 (2)4 Stars – ‘System is very sturdy and easy to install….’
Walmart.com: 5 Stars – ‘Great System if you have a dedicated court (Very large for Driveway)’
If you want a premium in-ground basketball hoop, the Spalding 88880G fits the bill. For the money, it’s as good as any other system out there. You get a 72″ backboard, which is the biggest you can get, plus it’s made out of tempered glass. The pole is very thick and provides rigidity, the overhang is quite impressive. Simply put, this hoop has it all.
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