Along my regular running routes in the suburb in which I reside, I have seen something interesting in several backyards: a private basketball court. Here is one of them:
I can see how these might be appealing:
1. The basketball hoop is always available for use by the people who live in the home.
2. Players do not have to go to a park or facility to play; it is convenient and easier to monitor.
3. The court can be used for other sports with a little bit of work (such as hanging a net).
4. It eliminates some grass from the backyard that would otherwise require mowing.
5. An addition like this to the lot could be viewed as good for property values in the long run.
On the other hand, this turns basketball (and other sports) into private activities. It removes the players from interactions with others in a park or more public space. It turns a leisure activity with the potential to bring people together into yet another activity Americans have taken to private spaces.
Couple the addition of private courts to backyards with a wariness about constructing basketball courts in public parks (or the addition of strange courts) and basketball – like many other sports – may be more of a private or organized activity in many suburbs rather than a spontaneous and creative activity.