How to Build a Basketball Backboard

By Aaron Reynolds

Basketball hoops stand at the forefront of American society, especially throughout the Midwest. Drive through any small town in that area, and you'll find several homemade basketball hoops and backboards that have withstood the pressure of thousands of shots. Building a basketball backboard is a rather easy process, especially if you have the materials necessary.

Use plywood for your basketball backboard because it's cheap and easy to find. You can also use a sturdy square of Plexiglas or plastic. Obviously you need something sturdy enough to withstand not only the hoop and basketball, but also the weather.

Decide what the backboard will rest up against. Common places are the top of the roof or on a pole. However, by far the easiest place to put a backboard is on the side of a long wall. You need to make sure the wall rises to at least 15 feet from the ground, unless you are planning on lowering the hoop for young children.

Basketball hoops sit exactly 10 feet off the ground. Allow another 3 to 4 feet on the wall so the top of the backboard can sit firm against the wall.

Cut the plywood. The ideal size of the backboard for a standard home should be 48 inches wide by 36 inches tall. This will allow a big enough target for shooters not only to aim for bank shots, but also to detour for errant shots.

Measure out the dimensions, mark it on the board with a pencil and run the board through a table saw. Always use caution when operating a table saw. Since the board is so large, have another friend stand on the receiving end of the saw, so he can grab as you push.

Apply the white square that goes on every backboard. This square guides players to aim for the top two corners when shooting bank shots. If the square is applied right and the ball reaches the correct angle on the backboard, it will bank into the hoop each time.

Grab a can of white paint, a small brush and measure out a 12-by-12-inch square perfectly in the center, with the bottom of the square at the top of the hoop.

Grab four large screws (enough to support 30 lbs. of weight) and drill four holes into the wall or whatever area you've chosen to mount the basketball backboard. Make sure the holes are even. Use a level to make sure it's 100 percent even. After the holes have been drilled, grab a friend and have her help support the backboard while you screw the screws in. You will both be on ladders so be careful. If possible, find two more friends to support the ladders from the ground.

Once the screws are in place, the hoop is ready to be mounted to the backboard and take shots for years down the road.

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