Spalding 888 Series In-Ground Basketball System Review

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by

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If you’re in search of a top of the line in-ground basketball hoop without breaking your bank, then you should look no further than this Spalding 888 series in-ground basketball system.

The combination of a stylish appearance & sturdiness alongside stability & playability has taken it into a whole different league. In terms of quality, very few hoops will be able to match it.

Serious players shall enjoy hooping here. However, for players who are experienced as well as aggressive by nature, there is very little ponder about.
This in-ground system can take some beating. However, irrespective of the level of experience you have, this is quite a decent hoop for every basketball player. Do you fancy a backboard with an NBA logo?

First thing first, this Spalding “888” series in-ground basketball system is the official system of NBA. This is available in 3 different backboard sizes (54, 60 & 72 inches).

Thus, giving you the option to choose according to your needs. So it is of little surprise why they’ve gone with glass backboards because tempered glass backboards are best known for delivering a superior rebounding experience.
Next comes a question: What has made this basketball hoop popular among the buyers? Due to the fact that J-bolt anchoring system allows for easy leveling adjustment, the installation becomes slightly easier.

Plus, it gives you the ultimate stability during play. There is a Spalding flex breakaway rim with an all-weather net to handle dunking activities. U-turn pro lift system shall allow you to adjust the height between 7-10 feet. If you want, you can remove the lift handle there.

Strong 5 inches square one piece pole is built with 11 gauge steel. Besides, the pole is equipped with a heavy-duty padding system to ensure safe play. Good under-the-hoop play is also on offer with every backboard size.

There are 3 feet offset for 54" and 60" backboard; 4 feet offset for 70 inch backboard. With a glass thickness of 3/8” and a steel frame, the backboard offers high resistance against rough use.

Spalding 888 Series in-ground Basketball System
Product Specifications:
  • Backboard Size dimensions: 54", 60", 72"
  • Height adjustment: 7' to 10'
  • Pole: 1 piece 5 inch square
  • overhang: 3 to 4 feet

Highlighted Features At A Glance:

  • 54/60/72 inch tempered glass backboard
  • U-turn pro lift height adjustment between 7 feet and 10 feet
  • 1 piece 5 inches square pole made of 11 gauge steel
  • Pro image breakaway rim with heavy duty wrap around support
  • J bolt anchoring system
  • Aluminum trim backboard frame
  • 3 to 4 feet offset from the pole

Want to convert your residential area into a pro b-ball arena? Then Spalding 888 in-ground goal is designed to give you a gym-quality experience. Tempered glass backboards offer both professional looks and supreme durability.

Besides, excellent rebounding performance means there will be no stoppage in play when someone plays a bank shot or lay-up.

The finest quality glass boards provide a more consistent ball bounce. Plus, you’ve got OPTIONS to choose from 3 different sizes (54, 60 & 72 inches backboards).

U-turn pro lift system

By using the U-turn pro lift system, the rim can be adjusted from 7 to 10 feet in infinite increments. Basketball players who would like to have a fully customizable height system shall enjoy playing hoops here.

This is suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. Whereas younger kids might find it a bit difficult to adjust the height of the rim in the Spalding aluminum trim glass hoop, here on this Spalding 888 series in-ground system, there is no such issue.

It is very easy to operate U-turn pro lift system. The backboard might be heavy but jack makes adjusting the height an easy task. Add to this a safety feature, which prevents the hoop from going below 6’6”.

Spalding flex breakaway rim

The 888 series Spalding inground basketball hoop comes with a pro-style flex breakaway rim. It functions as a force neutralizer.

So, when someone dunks, the rim shall flex & thus easily neutralize the force. It tells you that you are allowed to continue some rigorous dunk sessions and gear up for a professional basketball career.

Furthermore, there is a 3-4 feet offset from the pole. This should give you more than enough space to play underneath the rim.

Pole design and support

Spalding never really compromises with the sturdiness of their products. From top to bottom, this hoop is designed to keep safety as the first priority.

Tempered glass backboards are considered best in terms of delivering optimum performance. The one piece support pole is quite stable and stands firm even if you’re an aggressive player by nature. 

The best of the lot is the pole pad that adds to the solidness of this goal system. Now there will be a lesser chance of injuring yourself even if you accidentally collide with the post.

The U-turn pro lift height adjustment comes with a safety stop feature as well. With a flex slam breakaway rim, now players can dunk without any fear of injury.
As a result, they can play the game with a bit more freedom, making the game more enjoyable.

J-bolt anchoring system

Thanks to the impressive j-bolt system, installation of the in-ground basketball goal are fairly easy. Given the heavyweight of the system, you might need a couple of extra sets of hands in a few steps. However, the instructions are pretty much straightforward.

According to the manufacturer, you need to dig a 24” deep and 24” across the hole. But to ensure your basketball hoop set is sturdy, we shall suggest you dig an extra 6” deep to 30”.

Besides, if you want to move into your new house or another location, an unbolt option helps in this cause.

User friendly

Is it user-friendly? Yes, when our experts were trying to find out what has made this Spalding basketball goal a fan favorite, they didn’t seem to be too much surprised. Most of the users have expressed their satisfaction over it.

Everything looks exactly as the manufacturer has advertised. Really nice glass backboard. This is very much sturdy. And when you play shots, there will be minimal vibration—pretty simple task to raise and lower the hoop to the desired height.

Plus the installation process is a simple job with proper instructions. Want to play with a pro basketball hoop in the time away from the gym?

What We Liked

  • It is the official basketball goal system of the NBA
  • Tempered glass backboards are known to offer the best rebound action
  • Spalding flex breakaway rim comes with all weather resistant net making it suitable for both competitive play and bad weather condition
  • Safety pole padding for added safety
  • J-bolt anchoring system comes into play for easy assembly and transportation
  • Height adjustability opens up the game for everyone including kids


  • Due to the heavyweight of the backboard, you might need to ask your neighbor for some help in assembly.

Frequently Asked Question

Q. Will hanging on the rim damage this unit?

Ans: No, if your kids need to lower the basket so that they can dunk the ball, then let them do it. Do not restrain them because this is a solid unit at a great price point.

Q. Does the Spalding “888” series in-ground basketball goal rust?

Ans: According to the buyers feedback, this will stay in excellent condition even after some regular use. They haven’t seen any signs of rust even after using it for several years. It seems to be very well made.

Q. Can this basketball system be installed on an indoor court?

Ans: It can be done if you rent the right tools. However, it shall take a lot of strength and patience. Just be sure to look up how far down the hole should go and how much concrete to put in.

Q. Can this system be relocated if you move?

Ans: Make no mistake, this is a removable basketball goal. Yes, the J bolts and the concrete will remain but you can unscrew the nuts and take the entire system with you. All you will need to do when you move is to call Spalding and buy the J bolt and mounting plate kit.

Final Verdict

Want a top-notch in-ground basketball hoop system that shall last lifetime without showing any signs of rust? Then Spalding 888 is highly recommended. There is little to no vibration from the background.

Overall, the goal system is very solid. The instructions are quite straightforward. One possible recommendation would be to use a pickup truck bed to put up the backboard rather than a ladder.

Also think about durable backboard materials, exclusive safety features, and the most important thing, endorsement by NBA (National Basketball Association).
In terms of delivering NBA-quality professional playing experience, this Spalding 888 series in-ground basketball system is second to none.

At the same time, your kids can use it as their basketball trainer and compete evenly with their friends. So let him get his nose ahead!

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