OT: Where do/did you enjoy playing basketball?

Since we were talking about hoop courts in another thread, I thought this would be a fun topic.

My top-5 favorite places to play were:

Burns Park: though I played more on the “B” courts, closer to the school, I sometimes played at the main court by the Warming House where the better players played.

Tappan Jr. High: For a year or two, my friends and I would go into the school and play in their gym. We weren’t really supposed to be there but it was a while before somebody kicked us out. It was nice to have an indoor court to a group of about 15 people. We even had a 1 on 1 Tournament that stretched over a couple of weeks.

Venice Beach: When I first moved to LA, I lived a block and a half from the beach, and a 10 minute walk from the courts. My roommates and I played down there 3-4 days a week. It was almost always half-court and it was quite physical, though I never saw or got into any fights. I enjoyed it right up until blowing my ACL/MCL out.

Tie CCRB/NCRB: I played at NCRB more, but I got my only assist that resulted in a dunk at CCRB. I just remembered that I had to use somebody else’s ID to get in, since I wasn’t a student. I also “illegally” played on a couple of IM teams. We never won any titles, so nobody can lay claim to any championships that should be vacated. Good times!

Mary Lou Murray Rec Center: I played there when it first opened and still occasionally shoot there now.


All in Detroit, the legendary St. Cecilia during summer league, Visitation Community center, Outside courts at Central High School and Outside courts on 14th St at Clairymount in summer league games. All this in the early 70’s.


Loomis Park. Jackson, MI

As a teen, I played from Sun up to Sun down in the summer. I was always on the B court and looked longingly at the A court. When I was finally old enough to call next and it was respected, it was unreal. The first time someone picked me up, I was hooked for life. There is no better feeling than running and winning, but losing and the next guy picking you up is pretty close. I’ll never forget being 15 and I had to guard Fat Man in the paint. His sweat might still be floating on my skin cells. The first time my team told me to guard “the guy”. The first time I realized I was “The guy”, or one of the guys. Probably wasn’t ever the guy. But I had a lot of good nights playing until it was dark. A lot of good guys I met. A lot of fights, a lot of “incidents”. But, I learned basketball there. I shoveled the whole court in March when there was 9 inches of snow but it was 45°. Think about that. It took me 6 hours. The court was full that night and everyone wondered who cleared the snow. I never said a word. That’s how much I loved ball. I’ll never forget that love. Loomis Park was the spot when I was a kid. I was far too young to see half the stuff that went on there but it made me the man I am today. I wouldn’t change it for anything.


In our barn on Waters Road south of Ann Arbor. Also snuck into Waterman Gym occasionally while in high school. Would have been 1965 1966.


Favorite game growing up was summer pickup runs with friends and friends of friends at the Port Austin Gym. If you signed a form, the village office would give you a key. I had one from age 17 to 21 until some kids with airsoft guns ruined it for everyone. Fun old gym, great stone walls built during CCC (I believe), small full court perfect for 4v4. Unfortunately, the village council has decided to tear it down to make way for a pavilion to support winter ice skating and summer farmers markets. What a shame.

I live in Juneau, Alaska now and play a lunch pickup game 12-1pm on Monday Wednesday Friday. Sept thru April. The game has been going on for 30+ years. Mix of skilled, unskilled, old guys, young guys, you name it. All about getting a good run and having fun. No keeping score except a quick game to 7 at the end. It’s also a small court perfect for 4v4 and reminds me of home, albeit with a less athletic game :joy:

I also play rec league and occasional regional tournaments. Glad I can still move around pretty well at 35. I miss being able to dribble well!


Looks like a cool spot!

The NCRB was the best. Occasionally we were able to sneak and play at the Colosseum if they weren’t practicing gymnastics.

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I had a key to a local elementary school and I would get a crew of 12 to play two/three times a week. We got kicked out once COVID hit and haven’t played since. Good times, miss it


Park and church in my hometown. My high school gym (parque court!).

I preferred IM to CCRB at Michigan. Got some run in at Burns park as well.

Played on the court at Crisler (IM final - loss) and the Palace (HS team -win. Place was freezing without enough spectators).


A great moment was when Dirk Nowitzki became an All Star and ppl stopped calling me Derek.

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St. Timothy Lutheran gym on Evergreen in NW Detroit. Saturday morning basketball in the early 1980’s at its finest - work up enough sweat to run off the hangover from the night before and prepare to do it all over again that night. Dave Baxter (with shorter hair than his UM playing days) was a regular and I loved being on his team; passes from him got to you precisely “in the shooting pocket” on your hands and at precisely the right speed for you to handle the ball without fumbling it. At some point someone’s car got stolen on a cold December Saturday morning from the parking lot so from then on two members on the team waiting for “winners” had to be stationed in the parking lot.


Wow. A bunch of places but to rattle off just a few:


  • Palmer Park
  • Farmington Hills YMCA

Muncie, Indiana

  • McCulloch Park

Ann Arbor

  • 90% North Campus, the rest split between IM and CCRB


  • Georgia Tech SAC (Student Athletic Center)
  • Concourse Athletic Club

At Umich, IM had the best runs or Burns Park when the weather turned.

In high school, I was lucky that my school hosted the best open gym runs in the area in the summer so didn’t have to travel far in Northern Michigan.

A sleeper for the old heads: had a blast playing in Saginaw at the Civitan Center summer league in the years before it closed. Same gym that Draymond and some other legends grew up playing at. Lamar Woodley was trying to bring it back recently but it seems like that has paused.