All you need is a ball and a few friends to have a little fun. Basketball lends itself easily to pick-up games and the courts are everywhere. It is likely that more people play pick-up games than participate in scheduled league play. Here are seven of the best courts in the Minneapolis-St Paul metropolitan area.
See the previously published article, Best Places To Play A Game Of Pick-Up Basketball for some more good courts indoors and out.
1382 Willow St.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Playing basketball in this diverse, heavily used and urban park, much like Central Park in New York, imparts an out-of-the-ordinary sensation to an otherwise ordinary activity. Players of diverse skills come ready for pick-up games. But be prepared to interact with casual spectators watching and commenting on the play. The park has a healthy and safe mix of humanity because it is sandwiched between Hennepin Avenue, Metropolitan Community and Technical College, high-rise apartments, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Walker Art Center. Playing basketball in this urban cauldron surrounded by the beauty of paths, ponds, a bridge, a dock, ducks, squirrels and the dandelion sculpture is a heady experience.
North Commons Park
1801 James Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55411
“The In-Your-Face Basketball Book,” a book about the legends of basketball and the parks in which they played, mentions North Commons and its players who have achieved recognition in the game. Located between Minneapolis North High School and Golden Valley Road, this park has been the incubator of many players to go on to college and professional basketball.
Highwood Hills Recreation Center
2192 Londin Lane
Saint Paul, MN 55119
This is one of the nicer basketball courts among the more than 40 of St Paul’s Athletic & Recreation Centers. It draws residents from the Highwood Hills neighborhood, located south of Battle Creek just off McKnight Road. Any groups seeking to reserve the court would contact Battle Creek Recreation Center.
Scheffer Recreation Center
237 Thomas Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55103
This high-use outdoor basketball court caught the attention of the Minnesota Timberwolves who committed $15,000 to re-surface and re-fence the court in 2006. The recreation center is a focal point for Frogtown residents, located just west of downtown St. Paul on Como near Rice Street. The court draws a lot of players from this neighborhood.
Vista View Park
1501 Circle Lane
Burnsville, MN 55337
The city of Burnsville maintains a first-class park and recreation facilities, and Vista View is the nicest of the basketball courts. It is a full court with asphalt base and cleanly painted lines. The players’ benches are brand new, thanks to the generosity of park and recreation supporters. It is a good place for summer pick-up games and full-court fall schedule.
Parkers Lake Playfield
15500 County Road 6
Plymouth, MN 55447
Plymouth hoopsters should have no problem finding a place to play. Parkers Lake is one of eight outdoor basketball courts in a major playfield system of nine parks totaling 235 acres in Plymouth. Parkers Lake and Zachery Playfields seem to be the most used of the courts in Plymouth according to Park and Recreation Sports Scheduler Dan Lauer. The high school has another eight courts in one location and many neighborhood parks have outdoor courts as well.
Evergreen West Park
1033 Tamberwood Trail
Woodbury, MN 55129
Outdoor basketball is available on 16 full-sized, hard-surfaced and marked basketball courts located throughout the city. Use the link above to see them all. Evergreen West Park is in a nice setting with ample adjacent parking. As a result, the park and recreation staff like this court above most others when scheduling events.
Related: A Basketball Hole in One…Twice
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.