Remember the Swish, a basketball hoop with a backboard you can carry like a backpack and strap on to any pole, so you can shoot jumpers and drive layups anywhere with a tall structure in sight? It’s great. The Uball, however, takes it to another level, combining those with a telescoping pole, so you can finally set up a basketball game anywhere you darn well please.
That’s right, it’s a portable basketball set that you can carry like a pair of bags, allowing you to bring a full basketball set anywhere you want to go. Want to set up a two-on-two at the beach? This will work. How about a game at your backcountry camp before starting your hike for the day? Yes, this will work, too.
The Uball consists of four main parts: a rim, a backboard, a pole, and a basketball that measures slightly smaller than regulation equipment, so the average person can palm it and dunk while pretending they’re playing in the NBA. When collapsed, the backboard, hoop, and ball can be carried just like backpack, while the pole can be shortened for carrying like a document tube. Suffice to say, this set is compact enough that you can carry it on your person, although it does restrict you from carrying any other bags.
To set up, start by choosing where you’re putting the court and secure the pole’s ground screw into the ground, similar to how you set up a beach umbrella. Once that’s in place, you can then assemble the set by attaching the rim and the backboard to the top of the pole, extending the pole, and locking it using the integrated pins. From there, you just lift the pole, place it on the ground screw, and tighten the knobs on the ground screw to hold the pole in place.
The Uball can be height-adjusted anywhere from 8.5 to 5.5 feet, allowing you to put it at maximum height when the adults are playing and lower it when the young kids want to have their own slam dunk contest. The ground screw, by the way, is designed to go 12 to 15 inches inside the ground, which is what will keep the darn thing stable, so you’ll need to set this up in either soil or grass, unless you want to find yourself digging into concrete. Yes, we don’t think we have a jackhammer in our toolbox, either.
According to the outfit, the rim has a steel-faceted curve, the structured backboard is fitted with a steel frame, and the pole is made entirely from steel, allowing the whole thing to handle the stress of the most forceful dunks. All that steel makes it a bit heavy at 30 pounds, which is still perfectly reasonable to carry on your shoulders while you walk to wherever it is you’re planning to set up the game. Oh yeah, the rim will supposedly fit regular basketballs, too, so you can use those if you find the smaller balls included (25.5 inches compared to regulation 29.5 inches) a bit lacking.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Uball. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $149.