Travel & Outdoors

Best Pick-Up Basketball Courts in San Francisco

April 14, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

You don’t have to be the sharpest shooter in the Bay to join a pickup basketball game at these San Francisco locations. Bring your will to compete, put on your game face and get ready for some fast action.

embarcadero building Best Pick Up Basketball Courts in San Francisco

Photo Credit: ymcasf.org

Embarcadero YMCA
169 Steuart (at Howard)
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 957-9622
www.ymcasf.org/embarcadero/

Price: free for members/$5 other YMCA members/$15 walk-ins
Hours: Mon to Fri – 5:30 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.; Sat – 8 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.; Sun – 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

This YMCA features full-court, five-on-five basketball games three times a week. Sign in on the gym’s chalk board and play for 12 minutes or an eight-point game. The best time to play is prior to 8:30 a.m. The gym is open daily, but it’s best to consult its gym schedule when planning a visit. Make sure to avoid profanity and excessive use of force as both are considered inappropriate conduct and will result in the suspension of privileges for that day. After sweating away those calories, it’s just a short jaunt to the Ferry Building for eats and libations.

basketballindoor Best Pick Up Basketball Courts in San Francisco

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Presidio Community YMCA 
63 Funston Ave. (Main Post Fitness Center)
(between Lincoln & Funston)
San Francisco, CA, 94129
www.ymcasf.org/presidio

Price: free for members/$5 other YMCA members/$15 walk-ins
Hours: Mon to Fri – 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Click here for current schedule

The gym provides one full-court game or three half-court ones. Regulars praise this facility for its cleanliness and friendly staff as well as ample parking with easy access to the gym. Morning and afternoon pickup games are both available, but the schedule changes periodically, so check online for the most up-to-date play options.

basketballgroupplay Best Pick Up Basketball Courts in San Francisco

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Mission Creek Park
290 Channel St.
San Francisco, CA 94199
SOMA, 401 Berry St. (approximate location of courts)
(415) 558-9063
www.missionbayparks.com/


Price: $50 an hour for full court/$25 an hour for half court
Maximum of 4 hours for both courts. Reserve online.
Click here for the permit application forms.
Hours: sunrise to 10 p.m.

Mission Creek Park has one full court and two half courts available for public use. Its long list of rules ensures that players won’t have to dodge dogs, bicycles or skateboards. Playtime is limited to 45 minutes, on a first come/first serve basis. If you try to sneak in a game after 10 p.m., you will be doing so in the dark as court lights automatically shut off.

basketballsunset Best Pick Up Basketball Courts in San Francisco

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Potrero Hill Recreation Center
801 Arkansas St. (between 22nd 23rd streets)
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 695-5009
www.parks.sfgov.org/

Price: free
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun – noon to 5 p.m.

Two full courts ensure that no matter the weather, you can get your game on. Frequent players brag about the great city views they enjoy from the outside blacktop court, a nice distraction if your game just happens to go south that day. Rest in nearby shady areas for those rare days when San Francisco temperatures climb into the 90s.

Related: Best Outdoor Activities in the Bay Area

basketballfeetout Best Pick Up Basketball Courts in San Francisco

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Moscone Recreation Center (formerly Funston Park)
1800 Chestnut St. (between Buchanan and Webster streets)
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 292-2045
www.sfrecpark.org/

Price: free
Hours: daily – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Choose from three indoor and outdoor courts with stands and bleachers for onlookers covetous of your moves. Located in scenic Marina District, parking can be tricky at times as you may also compete for spaces with event-goers at Fort Mason and the Marina.

Related: Kamp’s Bulldog Becomes Cal’s Unofficial Basketball Mascot

Patricia Kutza is a San Francisco Bay Area-based travel, business and lifestyle journalist who writes for a wide variety of regional, national and global titles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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