5 Kickass… Outdoor Basketball Courts

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California Park | 3843 N. California Ave.

California Park is a great place to play ball because it features all the fundamentals a player would want in a court: it’s full-sized, painted free throw, half court and 3-point lines, and decent rims/backboards. I have been to this court a few times and there are often a lot of people playing, so bring some people with you and challenge them to a game of pick-up.

Gompers Park | 4222 W. Foster Ave.

This court lies just west of Pulaski and features a huge parking lot on one side. It’s an isolated, single full-court, so there are really no other factors to get in the way of a pick-up game such as balls from a different court rolling their way on. When I played here the court seemed to be in great condition and there’s usually room to get a game of your own going. I recommend bringing enough people to start a game of full-court.

Foster Beach | 5200 N Lake Shore Dr.

If I could only pick two things I love about being outside during the summer, I would choose shooting hoops and the beach. Foster Beach is a great place to work in a game of pick-up without being too far from a fresh water source to cool off afterwards. This court offers a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the city, providing a unique backdrop while you play ball. Unfortunately, this is the best thing the courts have to offer, as the nets are usually missing. If you don’t mind playing without a net or bringing a couple of your own, then Foster Beach is worth checking out.

Horner Park | 2741 W. Montrose Ave.

Horner Park features two full-length adjacent basketball courts, making it easy to find a hoop to claim for a game of 3 on 3. Like most other courts in the city, this one is right next to the tennis courts at this park, which have lights. Unfortunately, the basketball courts don’t have lights (a recurring theme in the city). Therefore, the best time to check out this court would be late afternoon or early evening before the sun sets.

Jackson Park | 6401 S. Stony Island Ave.

Hands-down, the best basketball courts I’ve seen in the city. Similar to the layout at Horner Park, Jackson Park features two courts right next to each other. However, Jackson Park stands out from any other court due to the amount of upkeep involved here. The rims are never bent, the nets are always there, the courts themselves are in great condition with no marks or awkward angels, and the court offers a great view of Lake Michigan. If you live in this area and love basketball, take full advantage of Jackson Park.

Photo Credit

Pat Howard

About Pat Howard

Patrick grew up in Jefferson and Norwood Park on Chicago's northwest side. He spent most of his childhood playing sports, but when he wasn't holding a bat or shooting free throws he found he needed a creative outlet for his thoughts. He found he had a love of storytelling and how it brings people together. This is when he started writing creatively and talking to people... a lot. He attended college at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota where he graduated with a degree in journalism and English. He soon returned to Chicago where he is currently working at a career as a journalist.

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