Customer Reviews: Lifetime 1221 Pro Court Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System, 44 Inch Backboard
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on January 1, 2010
I just added a comment to my review so look for it at bottome. I still have this product 5 years later and all good! RJ 11/28/15
Read all the reviews on this. Mind you, I was a bit skeptical at the price, but in the end, I locked and loaded on this one and am very happy. Below is my written review and I've also attached some video. Read the review first.

As for it being complicated to put together, I really did not find this to be an issue. Sure, there were a couple of vague areas, but I found if I just paused, thought about it for a while, the answer came to me. Aside from putting one bolt in backwards (kids could have bonked their head on it so just turned it around) it all worked out nicely. One adult can do most of the work, but you must have two for the mounting of the back board and hoop.

As for quality. It's just fine.
For little kids, I think this is perfect. If I was buying it for older kids, I might get one of the other models with a bigger back board and where the board is extended off the pole. I recorded a couple of videos which shows you how the back board sits right on the pole. As one reviews stated, if you were running and slamming, you'd run right into the pole. Sometimes the ball hits the pole and kicks it back out. So this hoop system is really more for "goofing" around than serious play.

If you have a limited budget and / or you just want something for goofing around, or for little kids who have an interest in Bball, really I can't find any faults. The price can't be beat. The system is very stable and sound.
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VINE VOICEon July 30, 2009
The Lifetime 1221 Pro Court basketball system is a reasonable choice for the budget conscious family. It is a free-standing basketball hoop that is great for light, family oriented play. Given the price, I think you will get more than you expected and your kids will be more than satisfied with the new source of summer fun.

But remember, this is not a professional set up. The backboard is made out of molded plastic. This is somewhat softer than plexiglass or wood and dampens the characteristic bounce that you might get with a harder surface. The fact that the base is weighted, rather than fixed to the ground, also increases the give on the backboard. Even so, the backboard perfroms competently. So unless your kids are budding NBA stars, the effect on play is minimal and the backboard is more than adequate.

You can fill the base with water or sand. Water has the advantage of being easier to remove whereas sand weighs more and would make the base more stable. However, even with water the hoop is far more stable than I would have imagined. It stays firmly planted even when the ball is thrown at the backboard with force.

Although portable, the structure is not easily collapsible. The hoop only reduces down easily to a minimum of 7 1/2 feet. So if you want to store it for the winter you will need to have enough room to store such a long structure, actually disassemble the hoop, or simply let it stay outside and brave the elements. It is not difficult to raise and lower the height in six inch increments, but this requires removing a screw and extending the pole assembly. Not too difficult, but more challenging than lever operated systems. The whole assembly is much lighter than you would expect, given the hollow, metal construction and molded plastic backboard, so it is actually easy to move around. Even with the base full of water, my 13 year old can tip the assembly back on its wheels and move the hoop easily on a blacktop surface.

In terms of assembly, things weren't too bad. Minimum equipment is required--a hex ratchet set and Phillip's head screwdriver are all you really need. The skill level needed is minimal (hey, I was able to put this together). Set aside an hour or so to put the thing together and make sure you have another adult (or large child) to help with the last steps. The directions are about average for this kind of do-it-yourself variety of product. The steps are multilingual, but really the most important aspect of them is the pictures. The drawings are clear enough to distinguish like pieces from each other, but certainly could have been clearer. On the bright side, Lifetime included life-size pictures of the hardware used for each step at the top of the page, so there is little ambiguity as to which screw or nut should be used. If you can put together the more simple Ikea furniture, you can certainly put this thing together without a problem.

The major difficulty in the design here is the hoop-backboard assembly. This is the part that requires two adults. 4 screws attach the hoop through the backboard to the pole in the last steps of the assembly. The pairs are, of course, going in opposite directions and it requires two adults and a lot of balance to hold the three parts in place while the nuts are being secured. The position of the bottom two screws is also somewhat awkward as there is barely enough room to fit the hex wrench around the head of the screw. Lifetime could simply have placed a groove on the end of the hex screw allowing you to use a screwdriver instead of a hex wrench.) Apart from this step, however, the assembly is simple and straight forward. Lifetime could have made it a tad simpler if all their hex nuts and screws were the same size, but this is a minor issue.

Given the price of this no-frills item, I think you definitely get your money's worth on this one. Once again, this is not a hoop made to withstand high levels of punishment, but it is a great choice for a backyard one-on-one with your elementary or high school aged child.
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on February 19, 2012
I did a ton of research and read many many reviews on portable and in ground baskets in different price ranges and decided for my 5 year old's birthday (and 7 year old daughter), it was best to go with a small investment for 4 reasons: 1) I'll be needing a new driveway in a year or 2 and I didn't want to commit to something in ground until I know where exactly it would go, 2) At least for a few years, I'll be at the 7 1/2 foot setting so not worried about the adjusting effort on this model for a while (it's not big deal regardless), 3) When they are older, I'll invest in something bigger and better (for me too), and 4) Turns out for $100 bucks my folks bought it as a birthday gift and all I had to pay for was my effort and the sand. Good deal.

I'd start out by saying now that I'm 100% ready to go, this hoop is at least as good or better then my reasonable expectations. Totally fine for my kids, but I think once you're up to a regulation 10 foot basket for kids 9 or 10 and older, it may not be good enough. The 44 inch backboard will be too small, and it just may not be sturdy enough for some more serious basketball, but again, for $100, it's really pretty solid and I'm very happy with it. In 3-4 years I'll upgrade (although for my 3 year old this will still be good). All in all, I give it 5 stars and recommend for smaller kids and/or a small budget.

Box came in just 3-4 days, no damage, and everything accounted for. I'm fairly handy, but made sure I took my time so I didn't do anything wrong. I organized the parts, reviewed the direction and got started. I can see how someone could get this together in 90 minutes or so, but it took me longer. No issues, the directions are clear and it's really not very complicated. Once I had it together, I noticed the rim angle was tilting up, so I bought some extra washers (same size as those included), removed the backboard, put the washers behind the backboard on the upper two hole connections (2 high and 2 low), and it worked perfectly. The rim is 100% level now.

The sand is pain, but I got into a good routine with my kids helping. Bought 6 50 pound bags, and it could probably hold another bag. My method was to empty the sand bags into a wheel barrow first, and then fill a small bucket (used for car washing) with a few shovel fulls, and pour the bucket into the funnel while my kids held the funnel. Once empty, tilt the basket to get the sand to slide to the front, and repeat...fill the bucket, pour into funnel, tilt to slide the sand and so on. Probably took a few dozen or more to get all 6 sand bags in, but it moved quickly. Use the fill hole near the back of the base.

One last thing I noticed is that there is some play at the bottom of the pole either side to side or front to back. I stuffed a few nails in the gap between the pole and base to act as shims and it did reduce the play a bit.

I hope this is helpful. Get a review, give a review. Have fun.
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on December 26, 2006
This backboard works perfectly for our purpose. It is portable, but I recommend sand for weighting so you don't have to worry about water freezing. Also, changing the height of the pole is a two-person task. We have a nine-year-old daughter for whom it was purchased, and she can't put enough power into her shots to do any damage, but if you have kids who want to hang on the rim or shoot from a long distance, this probably isn't the right set for you.
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on May 26, 2009
I ordered this from Amazon, and it came very quickly. It wasn't the most difficult or complicated product to assemble but it wasn't a walk in the park either. There was one missing bolt, but I happened to have one laying around.
If you will not be changing height often, this is an awesome set up. If you have multiple children with dramatic differences in skills and height, you may want to consider something else. Mainly something with an easier adjustment feature.
my two boys (2nd grade and Kindergarten) love this 'hoop'. To change the height you have to tip it over( using physics its not that hard). But, you will need one person to pull the backboard out, and hold it steady so you can re-insert the removable bolt.
There are some who will 'poo-poo' any portable system. if you want professional quality backboard feel and quality, then....get a professional quality system...but if you have kids under 12, and want something to play with, then this is a great system.
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on July 13, 2013
I rarely write amazon reviews, but I feel that some of the reviews here about assembly of this bball hoop are a little ridiculous and a bit of reality is in order.

First of all-- I'm a normal suburban parent with no special assembly skills. I'm not an aerospace engineer by day. I've assembled an IKEA bed upside-down and had to redo it. I own a bunch of random tools that spend most of their time jumbled in a box in the basement.

So... don't believe the reviews about how hard this is to assemble. I did the whole thing--alone, without a helper--in about an hour. Yes, the instructions should be clearer than they are, but they are better than many other products I've seen over the years. The whole thing is pretty logical, and I found I only needed a few tools: a 1/2" ratchet, a pliers, and a phillips screwdriver to do the whole thing. How some reviewers have taken 3 hours, with two people, is beyond me. Maybe if I was drunk.

You can easily balance the assembly on your lawn or driveway to attach the backboard--you do NOT need another set of hands for this, as the backboard is hollow plastic and weighs about a pound. All the parts were there, and bagged semi-logically.

As to the end result, the reviewers who note this is adequate for kids are dead on. While it is a little "basic" I am more than happy with it for the price and am super glad I didn't decide to pull the trigger on a $2-300+ hoop. For my 7 and 5 year olds, this will be perfect and last them, I am sure, through school.

Finally-- re the folks who have mentioned putting anti-freeze in the base with the water to keep it from cracking the base in winter. This is not an environmentally sound thing to do, as you know that eventually, someday, that anti-freeze will just get dumped into the driveway or lawn when you move or have to get rid of this product. Nasty stuff, dangerous for animals, bad for the water supply. Instead, simply remove the two "caps" in the Fall and there will be no issues with the water freezing and expanding... in fact, they are loose enough I'd predict that when it freezes the pressure from the ice would push them out anyway.
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on May 31, 2015
We love this hoop. It takes two adults to put it together, but it's not that complicated. We have it at around 9 feet tall right now, but it can be lowered and can be raised. We intend to fill it with sand but until then we just put blocks on the back and that's been just fine. Rey satisfied overall!
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on June 1, 2010
This arrived quickly from Amazon and the directions were good. I'm a 41-year old mom and I put this together by myself. I needed our wheelbarrow to prop it up. It took me about 90 minutes. I tried to put sand in the base, but the hole is so small that it was taking forever so I finally filled it up with water (I'll remember to dump it in the winter before it freezes).

This is for my 5 year-old. He is autistic; he had a Little Tykes basket and would just make 10-20 baskets in a row, it was amazing, but it was already on the highest setting. So I upgraded him to this one. After it was up, he took 4 shots and they all missed; I was a little worried that it was too tall even at the lowest setting. But then he just stood there, starring at the backboard for the longest time - and then his fifth shot went in. Now he loves it!! And it will grow with him! I love that!

I highly recommend!
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on April 15, 2011
If you are looking for the best deal for a portable basketball hoop, this is it. I searched all over and decided on this one. This is not a professional quality hoop, this is an amateur hoop just for fun. The backboard size is a lot smaller than a professional size backboard, and it is not nearly strong enough to handle dunks and heavy abuse. For everyday casual play and shooting hoops, it is great! I set-up the entire thing by myself in about 1 hour. You can set this up with 1 person fairly easily, the only tricky part is attaching the backboard and goal to the post. If you are going to assemble this one 1 person, I would suggest using some Cables to Go 43038 Cable Ties - 100 Pack (Black) to hold the backboard and goal together to the post while you are attaching the hardware. While I assembled this, I really needed an extra pair of hands, and using the zip ties saved me! I am lucky I had them laying around. If you don't have zip ties already, get some to help you put this together. Also, while I was assembling I was worried that the hoop would be falling over without any weight in the base, and this was not the case. It is actually fairly stable even without weight in the base. Before you fill the base with water or sand, you will want to at move the goal portion of the hoop up against a wall or something to prevent it from falling over. Moving this hoop around is not too difficult. I found it easier to slide the entire thing rather than lean and roll it, but this was on a smooth concrete floor inside a warehouse. Check out the customer images for this product to see a picture of this hoop installed the warehouse of our business.
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on August 27, 2011
We bought this for our son and his friends to play with. It was not hard to put together. It took a couple of hours, but after it was up. My son plays with it all the time. He would always ask his friends to come over and play with him. When his friends can't come over and play with him, he will ask me to play with him. Always fun to shoot some hoops with my son. I believe we can use it for many years.
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