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The 5 Best Lesser Known Locations to Play Pickup Basketball in NYC

by Eric on

Court #1 - 76th Street and Riverside Park

You can get games here after work (starting around 3 or 4pm) any day of the week. There is a good consistent old man style 3 on 3 half court game paralleled by a young buck full court run right next to it. On one side, fundamentals are on display and on the other side, athleticism and speed are displayed.

Directions: Take the 1, 2, or 3 Train heading Uptown. Get off at 72nd St. and Broadway. Start going north on Broadway towards 73rd St. Turn left on 76th Street. Arrive at 76th and Riverside

Court #2 - 86th Street and Central Park

Located on the north end of the lawn of the great lawn are the premier courts in Central Park. Games peak after school hours during the fall and spring as this game is made up primarily of high school ballers. The skill level at these courts span a wide range because of the youth of these high school ballers and the fact that these kids are simply trying to have fun.

Directions: Take the 4 train heading Uptown. Get off 86th St. and Lexington Avenue. Start going Left onto 5th Ave. Turn right onto 85th St. Arrive on 86th Street.

Court #3 - 68th and Riverside Park ( down under the westside highway )

If it is ever raining and you are still trying to ball, look no further than these courts. The westside highway serves as a clutch roof. When it rains, not only does the talent level here rise but also the wait time. However, just because it's nice out doesn't mean these courts aren't a solid option. In the middle of the summer, the highway roof also provides a much needed relief from the sun. 

Directions: Take the 1, 2, or 3 Train heading Uptown. Get off at 72nd St. and Broadway. Start going South on Broadway. Turn on 68th Street.

Court #4 - St. Catherine's Park ( 68th Street and 1st Avenue )

You will rarely find a full court run here. However, half court games are abundant even on weekdays. The attitude is generally upbeat and happy go lucky, which matches the atmosphere of the playground you walk through to get to the courts. Of the courts mentioned in this post, this one is by far the best for a novice baller. 

Directions: Take the 6 train heading Uptown. Get off 68th Street- Hunter College. Start going East on 68th Street heading towards 3rd Avenue. Turn right on 1st Avenue. Arrive at 1245 1st Avenue.

Court #5 - 108th St and Riverside Park

Don't you hate it when you arrive at a park and you have to wait 30 minutes for a court? When you come to this court, you will most likely never encounter that dreaded problem because of the abundance of courts. The premier court features a solid but young run. During the warm months you can get games here from midday till past sundown peaking at about 5pm to 6pm. The talent here is strong but the shot selection leaves something to be desired. Games run late here thanks to the light provided by conveniently placed streetlights and headlights from traffic on the neighboring west side highway. 

Directions: Take the 1 train heading Uptown. Get off at Cathedral Parkway (110th Street. ) Start going West on 110th St. towards Riverside Drive. Arrive at 108th and Riverside Park.

 

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