Pickup basketball offers social, physical benefits

In order to get an intense cardio workout and have a good time with friends, people can play pickup basketball on any outdoor court during summertime.


Patrick Rother

Shooting his shot…Playing a game of pickup basketball, junior Jon Kamaratos shoots a fadeaway jump shot while being guarded by junior Arjen Mamtani. The two were playing pickup basketball on a sunny day at the Church Road Park in Skippack.

By getting outside to basketball courts this summer, anyone can have fun with friends while staying active by playing various pickup basketball games.
According to junior Arjen Mamtani, pickup basketball is when you and a group of friends go to a court together and play basketball games.
For senior Devang Bhandari, pickup basketball is “just a bunch of guys playing basketball,” and they do not have to worry about how well they play.
Some people prefer to play pickup basketball over-organized basketball leagues because teams are very easy to change and they do not have to worry about being on a team they are unhappy with.
“I would say it’s more fun than organized basketball because, with organized basketball, you could be stuck on a terrible team, then you have no fun at all,” junior Clark Van de Water said.
According to Van de Water, there are a wide variety of enjoyable pickup basketball games to play with friends.
“I like half-court games, I also like 21, and a three-point game called 500,” Van de Water said. “They are all great games to play with friends.”
However, junior Jon Kamaratos would rather play scrimmage games over any other type of pickup game. “I personally prefer scrimmage games especially if you’re playing with the right people,” Kamaratos said.
Pickup basketball games can either be played on outdoor or indoor courts. Individual players have their preferences for their favorite place to play.
For senior Aleks Smith, pickup basketball is best played outdoors.
“Pickup hoops can be played indoors, but it’s much better outside because you are connected with nature,” Smith said.
While some feel pickup basketball is best played outdoors, some feel that in the winter it is preferable to play indoors to avoid the elements.
“In the wintertime, it’s really nice having the YMCA indoor courts open because the elements can’t affect you in there,” Van de Water said.
For Bhandari, playing pickup basketball is more enjoyable than individual sports like tennis or golf because of the teamwork necessary to play. “You’ve got to pass the ball. It’s not just one person doing everything,” Bhandari said. “There is a lot of team spirit…it’s a good way to bond.”
Van de Water says that unorganized, pickup basketball is a good time because its “fun and relaxing but it can still be competitive.”
According to Smith, people who have never played pickup basketball before should try it out.
“If you haven’t played pickup hoops, get outside and I’ll come show you what’s up,” Smith said. “I want all the smoke.”
Bhandari also encourages people to play basketball even if they are inexperienced. “It’s a great way to get some cardio in and bond with people, even if you have never played before,” Bhandari said.