5 Different Ways to Convert Portable Basketball Hoop to Inground

In some areas, portable basketball hoops are just not that safe as advertised. And for some people, converting them to inground is the only option.

For example, my acquaintance filled the portable basketball hoop base with almost 350 lbs of sand, and it still managed to fall over onto the hood of his mom’s car four times. He bought it for $600 and wasn’t planning on letting it go.

Fortunately, he’s got me who gets these things. We’ve chosen a bit complicated route, but we got there. Today we’re spilling it all out.

As for the easiest way to convert portable basketball hoop to inground, that would be to remove the support base from the backboard and pole and cement the pole in the ground. Making sure that you follow the rule-of-thumb. For example, for a 3.5” diameter pipe dig a 3.5′ hole.

If you decide to go with this, you don’t need any conversion kits, mountain brackets or anything similar, but you risk an uneven pole and rim. Be careful.

But there are more ways to do it the right way. Just keep in mind that this is at least a 2-day project and with some of these options it will likely take about 7 hours of actual work time.

Safety first, we all know that. It might be time-consuming, but it doesn’t cost much to do it, and it can definitely be worth it. Without further ado, we’ll now go over five best ways to convert portable basketball hoop to a permanent one and show you how to execute the job with ease.

1. Mount old portable backboard on an in-ground pole

This is a clean job, without much risk of messing up if you have patience. First, you’ll need to put a portable basketball hoop in the position that will allow you to dismantle the rim and backboard easily. You can lay it down carefully.

Then, use a screwdriver to unscrew the upper part of the hoop from the pole. If the backboard and rim are all alone, you’re done with the first phase. Sadly, they don’t make extension poles to turn these portable systems to in-ground systems, so you have two options here:

Option A – Get a new in-ground rounded pole from the manufacturer

The new in-ground pole should preferably come from the same brand as the portable hoop backboard.

Here you’ll need to be careful to buy the pole with the same diameter. If you have Spalding portable basketball hoop or Lifetime, you’ll easily find something. But if you have any other, it’s probably best to choose the same diameter pole or go with the second option.

Option B – Use an old support pole with a mountain bracket (a better option)

You can use the mountain bracket from a different brand than basketball hoop backboard as long as it fits your pole and backboard.

Lifetime Mounting Kit model 9594Spalding U-turn Lifting SystemLifetime 1044 Quick Adjust Conversion Kit
Shape and diameter of suitable poleRound: 3.5'' Round: 3.5'', 4''
Square: 4''
Round: 3.5''
Round: 4''
Compatible backboard modelsSpalding 44''
Lifetime 44'' – 54''
Lifetime 48'' – 54''
Spalding 48'' – 54''
Huffy, Spalding 44''
Lifetime 44'' - 54''

We found out that the only bracket that supports attaching to a square pole is Spalding 316 U-Turn Lift System. Also, it can be attached to a rounded backboard with “Y” bracket as well as rectangular backboards with either straight or “Y” brackets. Definitely the best bracket out there. You can find Spalding 316 U-Turn on Amazon.

2. Cement the pole directly in the ground

This is one of the easiest options. But first, you’ll need assistance (at least one man) and a few things to get started. Prepare the ready-mix cement and water. Make sure you have a screwdriver for dismantling the backboard and rim from the pole.

You’ll also use a shovel for digging a hole. If you’re adding concrete to the existing area, you’ll need to use a jackhammer. A level is for leveling the hoop after pouring the cement. And the last thing – ladders, to attach the backboard back to the pole.

After laying the hoop down with care and dismantling the rim and backboard, you have two options:

Option A – Dig a hole

To maintain a 10 ft rim height your new basketball hoop should have an extension. You’ll need to get a long piece of the pole that will fit the original pole to give it the proper length. 6-7 feet long piece of steel pipe should do the work. Make sure it fits tight.

As we already mentioned, there is a rule-of-thumb that says for every inch of the pole diameter, you dig the hole that amount of feet. It means that for a 5″ diameter pole you dig a 5′ hole.

Because it is a basketball hoop, it’s maybe best to go broader and deeper. I’d stick it about 2.5-3.5 ft in the ground and use about 3-4 bags of ready mix (70 lbs). We wrote a quick 5-step guide on how to dig a hole for a basketball pole so you can check it out if you want.

Option B – Make an improvised base

For those who don’t want to dig any holes, making an improvised base is a perfect solution. But be aware that it might get a little messy even when you finish the work.

As you can assume, it’s not so pretty to see the cemented base around the house. But if the place for a hoop is actually behind the house, then it converting portable basketball hoop to in groundshouldn’t be a problem.

Use one of these old wooden boxes (like the one on the right or this one on Amazon) to have the base that you will fill with ready-mix cement. Place the pole in a wooden box around the middle but closer to court. Use the assistant to help you. Fixate the pol and make sure you level the rim with the ground.

Attach the backboard back on to the pole. For more stability add more cement to the new base after the cement has completely dried.

3. Cut the part of the pole and cement it on a short wall

This option requires a bit of hacksaw work, but if it fits your needs, you can do it. This is for people who have some kind of wall in the backyard that just stands there with a lot of space around it. Why not use it for something useful?

First steps are simple, just follow the procedure we talked about. Lay the portable basketball hoop down, separate the backboard and rim using the method.

Take the measuring tape and measure the wall height to see how much of the pole you’ll need to cut. Then take a marker and mark the spot on the pole where you’ll cut.

Now comes the hard part. You’ll need to actually use the hacksaw for metal cutting (this one will do the work if you don’t own one) and cut the pole just enough so that the hoop stand on the wall in an appropriate height (this is up to you).

After finishing that step, it’s time to cement it in the ground, or this case – the wall. You can use some kind of metal or wooden box to pour the ready-mix concrete into. Follow the instructions to find out how much water to add.

Level the hoop, fixate it and let the cement dry. Attach the backboard and rim back on to the pole.

4. Mount the backboard on a garage or wall

This is by far the best you can do if you’re converting a portable basketball hoop to permanent. Of course, it depends on if you have a garage or not. And even then, it depends if you have a roof over the garage. You don’t want the ball going over the garage, over and over again.

Here we’ll do things little differently. You’ll need one of the mounting brackets available out there. As we said, this depends on the size and backboard brand.

If your backboard is Spalding 44”, go with Huffy conversion kit (you can find these on Amazon, as the manufacturer will, as usually, rip you off). If your brand is Lifetime go with Lifetime 1044 Quick Adjust Conversion Kit, and if you have any other hoop, you can’t go wrong with Spalding 316.

You’ll also need a latter and screwdriver. Then just make sure you follow the conversion kit guidelines, and you’ll be alright. This option is also the least time-consuming, as you can finish the job in less than 2 hours.

5. Cement the base into the ground

Along with option number 2, by far the most straightforward option out there. If you want to add more stability and make it safer, and you don’t care about the looks of your backyard, go for it.

During Irene hurricane, my friend’s pole came off the base and broke it. He did exactly this and hadn’t had a problem with a basketball hoop since.

You don’t even need to remove the backboard and rim from the pole. Just place the hoop on the spot you want it forever on.

Put a few pieces of wood around a base just to have something to pour cement into. Follow the steps we talked about in the article to cement it into the ground.

Wrapping up

Guys, there you have it, the best ways to convert a basketball hoop to inground. Make sure you arm your self with patience and goodwill before doing this. Anyone can do it; you just need to follow the instructions.

Safety has no price, and if you can add to it, why not. For more information on basketball hoops treatment, stay tuned to Improve Hoops.