Over the course of two weeks, Stu Woo, a sports reporter for the Wall Street Journal, visited every single one of Brooklyn's 172 public basketball courts run by the Parks Department. His goal was to determine which are the bestlabeled "Almost NBA Quality" on the map above and the worstlabeled "Not worth the MetroCard ride." Most of the courts fall in the middle ground of "OK for testing new Jordans." Courts were graded on their size, playing surface (some had weeds growing through the while others were slanted), baskets (evidently nets are extremely rare), and ambience. The map is extremely helpful for hoops lovers, but it also provides an interesting look into Brooklyn's neighborhoods.
Woo writes, "Using U.S. Census data, my data-expert colleagues analyzed my findings to see whether there was any correlation between the quality of a court and the neighborhoods they were in. Even when removing court size and ambience as factors, they didn't find any correlation between court quality and a neighborhood's racial makeup, income level and population." Yes, the top scoring courtthe brand new one in Brooklyn Bridge Parkis in an affluent area, but the next three highest ranked courts are in Coney Island, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, and East New York.
Click through to explore the full map. The Journal has a photo and description for each basketball court. Not that they only featured courts that are maintained by the Parks Department, so courts at public schools or NYCHA properties are not included.
· Brooklyn's Best and Worst Basketball Courts [WSJ]