Reviewing Chicago's best outdoor basketball courts; Oz Park

Neighborhood: Lincoln Park, 2120 N. Burling/Transit: Armitage (Brown & Purple)

4 Hoops---Grade: C / 1 Court----Grade B / Competition---B-

Nestled in the heart of Lincoln Park, Oz Park a great area to get involved in some outdoor pick-up basketball. The park is surrounded by Wizard of Oz statues and there is a great scenic view of the Chicago skyline in the backdrop near the basketball courts. The court itself features four basketball hoops; unfortunately only one full court  pickup game can be played at a time as the hoops run east to west and north to south.

Currently, the hoops definitely need some work as two do not have nets and the rims aren’t as tight as they should be. The backboard does rattle on occasion but if you’re a veteran to the court, you can easily get adjusted to it. One other concern is the fact that there currently is a tree hindering slightly over the backboard----so if you if like to shoot high arcing shots from the left side of the court it can cause some mild problems.

The court has a very nice and smooth pavement and there is a “sub surface” surrounding the court to help make it more leveled. Unfortunately, the court does not feature any three point line, but the rest of the lines for the paint are still visible. Amenity wise, there are lights during the night but they aren’t exactly near the courts so it is difficult to play at night.

Water fountains aren’t  near the courts, but they are within walking distance close to the kid’s playground near the courts. Based on my occasional trips to this park, I would say that that the competition is average---at times you will see very talented stars and other times it seems to be equal on both sides of the ball if it’s random pickup basketball.

The kids at this park like to play up to 16 “straight up” with just 1’s (hence no three point line) and like to switch sides when one team reaches 8 points. Overall I would give this court a B-, it’s certainly in a perfect location but it does need some improvements to the lining of the courts and the hoops themselves.

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  • I like this concept of rating and critiquing b ball courts. Five years ago I used to play at Lincoln Park just south of the zoo, you may want to try thtt court out. You never knew who would come out to hoop, I played with bums, teenagers and dudes hustling games (you know what I mean), but always fun and some really good games.

  • Great post, wonderful idea

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    I often play in Linkoln Park, tried out several courts but this one is my favourite Let me know if you're interested, my games are listed there

  • Quite amazing! Basketball courts are of different types, so it is quite tough to recognize the best one. Mostly every basketball courts are having unique features and specification and especially the outdoor basketball courts, which is designed with concrete, and other types of surfaces. These are equipped with two poles, boards, hoops, and nets. Thanks for such a wonderful review of this wonderful outdoor basketball court.
    Basketball Courts

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