Make Your Hoop Dreams Come True

Shooting hoops at the Carroll Park courts in Carroll Gardens.Photo: Stuart Hawkins

You’re an NBA Prospect
Rucker Park
155th St. and Eighth Ave.
Like most celebrities, this legendary court is smaller than you think, but it has a sparkling scoreboard and stadium lighting. During the day, it’s peppered with kids. After 6 P.M., the city’s flashiest streetball teams compete in front of large crowds.

You’ve Got Game
Sara Roosevelt Park Courts
Houston St. at Chrystie St.
LES hipsters in pastel Pumas mix with Chinatown toughs in NBA jerseys and grizzled, middle-aged men in penny loafers who can dunk. Solid players can easily join a competitive pickup game any weekday after work, and all day Saturday and Sunday.

You Just Learned H-O-R-S-E
Riverside Park
68th, 74th, and 110th Sts. at Riverside Drive
If your basketball ideal is Hoosiers, stick to these pastoral, well-maintained courts: There’s rarely a dunk, and some players actually call touch fouls. It’s easy to find a laid-back five-on-five game on the weekends; bring your buddies on a weekday night.

You Want to Teach the Kids
Carroll Park, Brooklyn
Carroll St. at Court St.
A diverse mix of short Brooklyn kids dominate taller adults on these shady, tree-lined courts. Crowds are rare on summer evenings and weekend afternoons, so kids can easily join in a pickup game.

See also:
Beat Your Friends: Coaches Show How to Win at Every Sport

Make Your Hoop Dreams Come True