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Sports & Recreation

Best New Outdoor Basketball Courts 

Mission Creek Park

Tucked under Highway 280, just a Muni stop away from AT&T Park, lies a perfect outdoor basketball court. Desirable for its forgiving rims and indoor-style Plexiglas backboards, this court attracts local, after-work ballers for highly competitive five-on-five games. Because it's sandwiched among the boxy high-rises of Mission Creek, the court is often dominated by the UCSF and luxury condo crowd, but there's also an ethnically diverse mix of kids from the low-income housing across the way and over the train tracks. Games can sometimes be cliquey, but determined outsiders are rarely turned away. You must simply wait your turn, and if you've gotta wait, there are worse places to do it. Traffic may abound overhead, but the ground-view of the gardens along the creek, where historic houseboats park and kayakers enter the water, is verdant and soothing. In addition, there are two adjacent half-court affairs for shooting around or some three-on-three action; there's also a sand volleyball court within ogling distance, which is often occupied on weekends by scantily clad, statuesque people.

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