Time to ball

The Vanguard takes a look at some of the best places to get your outdoor basketball game on this summer.

During the long warm summer months, many a sports fan can find one’s self bereft of entertainment and suffering from a case of boredom.

With only regional broadcasts of Seattle Mariners games available during much of the time, Portland offers a solid group of parks for friends and family to enjoy a friendly game of basketball.

The Vanguard takes a look at some of the best places to get your outdoor basketball game on this summer.

Couch Park

Northwas 19th Avenue and Glisan Street

Nestled into a comfy area of Northwest, this collection of short courts would look more fitting if it were in a movie scene. The surrounding park is nice and one of the only truly pet friendly areas in Northwest.

The brickwork on surrounding buildings, lack of nets on the basketball hoops and nearly empty basketball courts make the courts seem like the kind of place that a youngster would play a little shadow ball. 

Peninsula Park and Rose Garden
700 N. Rosa Parks Way

One of the oldest public parks in the city, Peninsula Park features one of the truly great features of modern-day outdoor basketball: an artificial surface. Gone are the days of worrying about skinned knees and elbows from falling down on rough asphalt.

Artificial surfaces—many of them donated by Nike—sprout up on outdoor courts throughout the city. The park, built in 1908, is also reportedly one of the more friendly basketball venues, often featuring family games and little kids honing their skills.

Irving Park
Northeast Seventh Avenue and Fremont Street

Although Irving Park may not qualify as technically outdoor—the basketball courts feature a nice roof overhead—it makes our list as one of the great spots for outdoor basketball in the city.

Lents Park
Southeast 92nd Avenue and Holgate Boulevard

The more than 38 acres of Lents Park may be a lot of things, but it is unclear if basketball mecca is one of them.

We visited the park multiple times but not once did we find a soul using the basketball facilities there, although there were plenty of facilities to be had.

Should the city move forward on building the proposed Triple-A baseball stadium there, residents would miss out on one of the great sprawling parks of Portland.

Powell Park
Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard

Conveniently located just minutes from campus, Powell Park features six total hoops and the opportunity to host two semi-full-court games simultaneously.

The courts also boast the aforementioned artificial surface, and Powell Park is nice enough to paint traditional lines on the main court, enabling a seriousness to the game that often goes missing in street ball.