How to Fix or Remove Broken, Rusty or Bent Basketball Pole

how to dig a hole for a basketball poleThere are a few problems that could come up with either portable or in-ground basketball hoop. One of them is a broken, rusted, or bent basketball pole.

I had an installed basketball backyard hoop that was there when we bought the place. It had a really nice glass backboard hoop that cost probably near to $400 to replace. And then a dude delivering firewood drove into it and bent it right at the bottom. It was starting to lean to the left, and it really gets on my nerves. But, it had such a nice backboard and ridding of it was not an option.

What did I do? I cut out a 7×7 so that it went over the pole perfectly, and beat it with a sledgehammer. It got 75% of the bend out and worked well for a while. (It looked like crap, but it worked).

But this isn’t the only way to do this, neither I’m saying it’s the right way. You should just know that in reality, depending on how big is the damage, fixing a basketball pole is a simple job.

Whether it’s totally crashed, or just having two compatible poles sections stuck together, in this article we’re finding the solution. Also, we’ll teach you how to paint the pole and how to completely remove it if there’s a need for it.

How to repair a BROKEN basketball pole

If you have a cemented pole that’s broken and sticks out of the ground, you could try to mount a new piece of a pole. Before starting anything, make sure that the old pole looks secure and safe with the concrete in place.

Think about mounting some kind of a pipe with a large surface thickness to guarantee strength. Just find a piece that will slide over the old pole and slip the top piece in and have it welded. I did a thing for a chain-link fence that’s similar to this. I slid 5-foot long poles over each of five poles which had 3-foot lengths shown.

Note that with this plan there shouldn’t be any concrete inside the pole above surface level.

Use epoxy as you place a larger diameter pipe over the pipe stump

Use 2×4’s as a substitute help to keep the pole precisely vertical. Then you load the pole with concrete grout (smaller aggregate concrete) to stabilize it. Clearly, the snugger the fit between the two pipes, the more steady the basketball system would be.

If needed, you could use a few concentric pipes (or aluminum flashing) to build your replacement sleeve(s) inside the external pipe, to make the fit as secure as possible.

Do cap the pole if you don’t fill it with cement so you won’t have water-storing inside it, rusting away the stump.

What to do if the basketball hoop pole is bent

How bent is it? If it more than a bit, the pole is probably pretty blasted. If only a bit, it can possibly be saved. It depends on how much you have to pull to save it, as to how much strength it will lose. If it’s just going to be used for standard basketball, it will be okay.

If you want, you can weld a few stiffeners along the sides. For dunking and hanging on the rim, it might be a little weak.

The hardest thing you can do is blow torching it off with HI trigger start torch. You would lose around 4-5 inches of height, but you would have it vertical. If you’re good with a torch, take a bind, heat it for a few seconds, and it will go on its own.

Just be careful; pole loses strength due to applying of fire, you don’t want it to bend in the other direction.

Do you have a large tree near the pole opposite the direction of bend?

You can use a import cable come-along puller (like this 2-Ton Power Puller) to fasten the tree with a used auto tire padding to protect the tree. Use a tow chain if the rigging needs extending.

Begin the pull, then use a sledgehammer with the help of a hardwood block for pole protection. You’ll also need one more man to hold the end of a long block while you strike. Pull, strike, pull, strike.

During the pull, the goal is to make the pipe take a ”set”, instead of falling back after releasing pressure. I love leverage, but you need to stay safe. If you don’t have a tree, you can hook it to a truck bumper parked in perfect alignment, but be sure that the cable stays whole.

What to do if two basketball pole sections got stuck together

I’ve had two Lifetime 48” basketball poles stuck together badly. Dropped them on the driveway from shoulder height three times and they loosened enough to get all the parts separated.

It might sound strange, but dropping the poles on the grass will totally do the job if two basketball pole sections got stuck together. Just let it become a little wonky, and the pieces will fall apart. You can lube it and spray it with some canned air – there’s a possibility that the parts expand because of heat.

If you have two basketball pole sections stuck together you can also:

1. Get a long screw and bolt.

2. Stick the screw in the hole that the pole’s stuck in.

3. Bolt it on the other front of the pole. Leave adequate room to get the flat side of a hammer between the end of the screw and the basketball hoop pole.

4. Get a rubber hammer (I recommend this set) and hit the barrel of the hammer connected to the screw.

How to remove rust from basketball pole and keep it that way

No one likes to see a rusty metal basketball pole. It can look worn down, old, and just plain ugly. But how good it will look depends only on what you want. And how much work are you willing to put in.

I used this product – Ospho on several rusty things in need of painting. It has been around a long time. I remember my dad using it on boat equipment.

If you’re using it, just beat off the loose rust with a wire brush. Put a bit layer of Ospho on. Let it be for a day. Put another layer on. Again let it sit 24 hours. Now take a can, put water in it with soap and wash down the pole. Let it dry, prime it, then paint.

Now here’s how to remove the rust from a basketball pole in a classical manner in four easy steps.

1. Buy a wire brush for a drill and use it. Make sure you wear safety glasses and long sleeves; small bits of hot metal would be all over the place.

2. Use a wire brush to clean rust off the metal facade. You should scrub as much rust as you can from the pole unless you want it back. You don’t actually have to remove all the rust off; scrub the loose rust so that the pole is smooth and doesn’t cause the paint to peel.

3. Use an all surface enamel oil primer to prime the pole. Once you have polished it down, treat it with a rust primer. Metal surfaces suffer least with oil-based primers, in contrast with latex-based primers. I heard people are mostly using Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel Oil Primer when working this kind of stuff.

Make sure you do the inside of the pipe as well. Check if there are holes in the pole. The rust from the inside could increase rusting on the outside. Pvc endcap and caulk should do the job of caping it.

How to paint a basketball pole?

After you cleaned off and primed the surface, it’s time to paint. You can use a Metallic Multi-Surface Paint, made to withstand weathering and hard sunlight. Another option is to finish it off with something like Rustoleum LeakSeal.

It’s common to see bare metal oxidizing and rusting with years of weathering. It’s crucial to prepare the rusting pole carefully. Otherwise, the paint could peel off again. But this is only a short-term solution; repainting is inevitable when the rust comes back.

Another option includes finding Hammerite paint (it’s a bit expansive, but it’s good) that goes straight over the rust – paint, and primer in one. Just brush it on, and you’re done. If the pits bother you, you can fill them with nitro-stan and sand with wet paper before you paint.

And finally, POR paint used for vehicles.

How to remove a basketball pole?

What should you if you’re sick of watching your old basketball hoop lying on the ground, all broken? The thing is already 15 years old, rusted AF towards the middle of the pole, and you thought about removing it, but you just hadn’t had time.

Or if the storm f’s up everything and you find your hoop lying a few inches next to your car? This is the time to learn how to remove the pole or the part of basketball hoop pole that’s stuck in the ground.

Keep in mind that the option you’ll choose depends on how much concrete is actually there around the pole. But it’s easier than you think.

Using a vehicle

Dig around the concrete that holds the pole, and then pull it out using a chain or heavy straps. You can pull the chain with a pick-up or any other vehicle using a trailer hitch. It’s not necessary that a vehicle is a diesel, you just need momentum.

Please make sure you have enough of straps or chain to stop the pole to come down on your car. That almost happened to this guy.

Using an electric hammer

This came to my mind because one time I had to replace a massive swinging gate that was crashed by some vehicle (they took off).

To do this, get a Bosch Brute Hammer, and cut the concrete with ease. At least that’s what I did. It’s a 3-hour project, and you don’t need help.

Using a floor jack

Make sure to have a large plumber’s wrench. Some people also call it monkey wrench. Place it around the pole, about a foot off the ground.

Put a floor jack with the cradle under it, directly at the basketball pole. jack it out of the concrete, catch it when it starts hitting the ground. You’ll need one more man for this.

Using a shovel

Soak the ground around the pole. Make sure you do it really good. Wiggle the hoop back and forth to ream out the cement out of the hole. Use a shovel to break the suction of water and soil.

You can even use a high-pressure type nozzle and apply the water all around the concrete. If you take to make the dirt very wet, this thing can pop out with minimum effort.

Dig the dirt from around the concrete a few inches down, then wrap a strap around the concrete in that spot. Get a farm jack, attach the straps to it, and it will come right out. A Farm Jack can do a pull of nearly 3.5 tons.

I’ve seen many fence posts concreted 3 feet in the ground removed this way.


Cut the pole as low as possible and leave it there. Seriously, this is the thing you can do if you’re good with metal cutting. A right angle grinder will do the job here. Leave the concrete, build a little retaining wall using railroad ties and put enough dirt to plant nice flowers.

Secure at least a 12-foot radius around the concrete when removing the pole, in case it falls strangely. If possible, have someone to help you. If not, go with the option that suggests an electric hammer. Also, dispose of the rest of the pole right away, it will be extremely sharp.

Wrapping up

Guys, there you have it. We hope that you found the solution to your problem, and we hope that you will decide to fix your basketball hoop. If you want to remove it or replace it completely, follow the instructions and everything’s going to turn out fine. For more on hoops and basketball, stay tuned to Improve Hoops.