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If you play
Looking to add some exercise into your weekend? Playing a game of pickup basketball is a great way to do it, whether it’s at your local gym, community center, on the park courts or at your home.
But if you’ve spent most of your time on the couch and only recently decided to join the guys (or girls) on the court, there are some things you should consider to avoid injury.
Be realistic. You can’t do exactly what you did when you were a teenager. Try taking it slow and making small changes.
Stretch. Stretch and warm up before you hit the court.
Safety. Use appropriate safety equipment such as knee and elbow pads, mouth guard and eyeglass protections. Also, wear shoes that fit snugly and cotton socks that absorb perspiration.
Take breaks. There’s nothing wrong with sitting out a game or even letting someone else take your place. Taking a break allows the body time to rehydrate and rest.
Don’t be a hero. If you injure yourself or you feel your body is overworked, stop. If the injury is serious, seek medical attention.
Sources: SportsMed.com, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
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The scoop on hoops

Playing basketball outside is a great way to have fun, burn calories and improve coordination. But, purchasing a residential basketball hoop can be overwhelming and confusing.

Whether you plan to shoot hoops for fun, play competitive games of 3-on-3 or practice team drills, these quick tips will help you decide which hoop is right for you.

Location. Before you buy, make sure you have ample space to play. A large, flat, paved surface such as a driveway is ideal. Keep in mind it is unsafe (and often illegal) to place a basketball hoop on a street or sidewalk.

Portable or in-ground. A portable hoop has a large plastic base with wheels that provides the flexibility of rolling it to a different area, or even taking it with you if you move. In-ground systems take up less ground space but require concrete installation and are permanent. But they tend to be more rigid and offer slightly more stability for aggressive players.

Backboard material. Graphite and polyethylene backboards are designed primarily for young children. Acrylic backboards provide a clear playing surface ideal for beginner or intermediate players. For more serious players, polycarbonate backboards such as the Lifetime Shatter Proof FusionT provide high-performance and durability with a clear, arena-style glass look while high-end tempered glass backboards combine professional styling with the best performance and rebound for aggressive players.

Backboard size. For young players just learning to shoot, a 44-inch backboard is sufficient. Young teens practicing drives to the basket and bank shots will benefit from the rebound space of a 48- to 50-inch backboard while aggressive players will appreciate the large 54- to 60-inch and even regulation-sized 72-inch boards.

– PR Newswire

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