Let’s take a minute and harken back to the old days of pickup basketball and games of H.O.R.S.E. in the elements. Remember those days of shooting hoops under that single floodlight in your driveway? It’s good to know that not all basketball is played indoors; there are still quite a few places in the Atlanta area where you can still run a little five-on-five action or shoot some hoops on your own. Here are some of the best spots to play outdoor basketball in Atlanta.
400 Merritts Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30308
Central Park, right in the heart of Atlanta, attracts serious ballers to the courts each and every day. Multiple courts means multiple games and one can expect to see 15-20 people hanging around on any given day or night. The games at Central Park bring out former high school and college players and players of all ages, shapes and sizes. Bring your “A” game to Central Park and don’t be afraid to play a little defense.
1342 Worchester Drive N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30306
Atlanta’s Piedmont Park used to be a barren wasteland for basketball players. This is not the case anymore. Thanks to Converse, basketball legend Julius Erving (Dr. J.) and Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed, new courts were unveiled at Piedmont Park back in 2011. With a big Converse logo on the courts and a great surface, these courts have hosted about 17,000 players since their opening. Players of all level will feel at home playing on the full court and half court with the backdrop of Piedmont Park and the Atlanta skyline in the background.
840 Cherokee Ave. S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30315
Just looking to work a little on your jump shot or low post moves? Grant Park brings out some serious players, but this is social basketball at its best. Bring your kids, your friends and play a little ball or maybe conduct your own shootaround for the heck of it. Grant Park is the spot in East Atlanta, complete with swimming pool, tennis courts and jogging trail. There’s a big parking lot and a lot of room to roam. Bring your basketballs and have some fun at Grant Park on weekdays or weekends.
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1350 Bolton Road N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30331
English Park may be your best option for picking up a quick game in the northwest quadrant of Atlanta. English Park is not only a great place to host a picnic or a cookout, but you can also run into some pretty good basketball players on any given day. While the courts might need a little resurfacing (what courts don’t), that is part of the fun of outdoors hoops. Those bad bounces and dealing with the elements comes into play. English Park is located conveniently right off I-285 and Bolton Road. In you are in the area or find yourself in that area, lace up those high-tops and check it out.
10900 Buice Road
Johns Creek, GA 30022
If you are up in Johns, you know about Ocee Park for baseball, but Ocee also has two great basketball courts that are open for play during the day. These courts get a lot of play. On most days, you will find an assortment of kids dribbling and shooting, but in the evenings and on weekends, you find dads playing one-on-one with their sons and daughters. It’s a great gathering spot for local elementary and middle school students to burn off some energy with pickup games. If you are a brave adult, you might want to join in for some exercise.
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Rick Limpert is a freelance writer/photographer in Atlanta and he loves covering anything Falcons-related. His work can be found at Examiner.com.