Tempered glass backboard, crank adjust, pro-image rim, 2 foot overhang, 4-inch square pole
2-section pole, no pole padding, ground sleeve installation
The Spalding Pro-Image Hoop features a 54″ tempered glass backboard and a heavy-duty Pro-Image breakaway rim. The height adjusts infinitely from 7-10 feet with the U-Turn life system, which is a crank handle that can be removed. The pole comes in two sections and is 4-inches square. The backboard offset is 2 feet. The hoop is installed using a ground sleeve. The Pro-Image hoop is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.
What To Like
- Tempered glass backboard. This is the same material used in gymnasiums all over the world (though, not as thick). It’s very durable and resistant to scratching. Other materials, like acrylic for instance, will turn yellow with time. That won’t happen with tempered glass. It’s sturdy, and plays better than any other type of backboard.
- “This is a great hoop once installed. High quality and very solid.” – Online User Review
- 54″ backboard. This size is suited for a 1-2 car driveway. 60″ is more preferred, but it’s big enough to play serious games on.
- Crank adjust. With the turn of a handle, the hoop goes up or down. It’s the most precise and durable adjustment mechanism out there. As mentioned, the handle can be removed so the height can’t be tampered with. The downside however is that it does take some strength to adjust it.
- Pro-image rim. This rim is solid, so I would expect it to last as long as it’s not abused. It’s thick, and has a wrap-around brace for support.
- 2 foot overhang. This is the distance from the backboard to the pole. A larger overhang provides a safer environment for the players, since they are less likely to run into the pole. There’s also more room for play underneath the basket.
- 4-inch square pole. The thicker the pole, the more stability the hoop has. 4-inches is enough, given that a lot of hoops in this price range have a 3.5″ pole.
What Not To Like
- 2-section pole. A one-piece pole provides the most stability. That is the standard among basketball hoops. Plus, you’ll have to put the two sections together during the assembly.
- “Putting the pole together for this is a nightmare. My husband had to call and have a replacement pole shipped because the original warped while he was trying to pound the pieces together.” – Online User Review
- No pole padding. A lot of hoops don’t have pole padding, even some of the more expensive ones. It’s nice to have particularly if serious games are going to be played.
- Ground sleeve installation. This is better than the direct burial, but the anchor mount installation reigns supreme. A ground sleeve is cemented into the ground, then the pole is inserted. The problem is that the pole becomes very difficult to remove if desired. That’s because it tends to become one with the sleeve. This is particularly the case in colder climates.
For the money, this is one of the better in-ground hoops you can buy. If I had $450 to spend, this would certainly be one of my top choices. It’s not perfect, but you won’t find perfect in this price range. The tempered glass backboard is what makes this hoop so attractive. It has a 2 foot overhang, and a heavy duty rim for dunking. I think this hoop has a lot of value.
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