Image via Timeout
Image via Timeout

Although summer is winding down, there's never an off season for basketball around New York City. The Mecca of basketball has produced some of the most talented players around, with majority of them dominating the local public courts sprinkled all throughout the city. To those unfamiliar with the history of streetball in New York City, it's roots run as deep as majority of the professional sporting teams, with stories of local legends from parks around the city that rival those of even the most prolific professional athletes. Long story short, streetball in NYC isn't just a sport, it's a way of life and a culture that the people embrace.

For those of you who want to try your hand and see if you can hang at some of the most historic playgrounds and courts around, we put together a few places you may want to check out next time your in the city. From Riverbank Park, to the Rucker and everything between, we considered a wide array of public courts around the city that play host to some of the most skilled and gifted streetballers on a daily basis. If your feeling up to it, here's A Complete Guide to Crushing It at NYC' Streetball. Don't forget to bring your A game

Click to Continue Story

RELATED: The 25 Best Basketball Sneakers from the Past 5 Years
RELATED: The Best Basketball Shoes for Streetball

Image via nycitsalwaysanadventure
Image via nycitsalwaysanadventure

Sara D. Roosevelt Park

Where: E. Houston St. To Canal St. between Chrystie St. and Forsyth St.
Competition Level: Recreational
What to Expect: Casual pick-games with the locals
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Jordan XX8 SE

If your looking to just brush up on your game before you go for the big time, start out at Sara D. Roosevelt Park. With four courts, there's a wide variety of competition so you can hop on next at whatever your skill level is. Located on the Lower East Side, the park a heavily shaded which is always welcomed in the heat of summer, and due to the number of courts the wait time in between games is relatively short so you can get a solid run in.

Image via NYCParks
Image via NYCParks

McLaughlin Park

Where: Tillary St btw Jay St & Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Competition Level: Upper Intermediate
What to Expect: Intense games with passionate locals looking to hold the court
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Jordan Melo M10

The courts at McLaughlin Park recently got a makeover which makes it a go to spot for many baller's around the Brooklyn area. Pick up games run throughout the day, with Saturday being the primetime for top level players from Brooklyn to lace up and hit the park. The park also played host of former Knicks legend Bernard King, so the history of McLaughlin runs deep. Although there's only two courts, the games move rather quick as long as arguments stay at a minimum.

Image via NYCParks
Image via NYCParks

Happy Warrior Playground

Where: W. 97 St. and Amsterdam Ave.
Competition Level: Intermediate
What to Expect: High paced, true streetball style games
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Nike Zoom HyperRev

The courts at Happy Warrior are slightly undersized but the fresh paint job and newly netted hoops make this Upper West Side park fill up rather quickly. The competition level varies, but for the most part the skilled players weed out the lower level after a few games so go around mid-day for some serious competition. The mini-sized courts can lead to some questionable calls, but if your up for some real heated games and putting your skills to the test, Happy Warrior Playground is place to consider.

Image via NYCParks
Image via NYCParks

Macombs Dam Park

Where: 800 East 161st St., Bronx, NY
Competition Level: Intermediate
What to Expect: Fast paced, run and gun style games
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2013

Located right next to Yankee Stadium, Macombs Dam Park is the go-to court around the Bronx. Daily pickup games run all week, and the additon of lights to the park make it an even more go to destination over the summer as games go until about 10pm. Competition is stiff at Macombs as nobody wants to give up the courts so make sure you win when the time comes around because you may be waiting a while if you catch and early L.

Image via Youtube
Image via Youtube

Riverbank Park 

Where: 679 Riverside Dr.
Competition Level: D-League
What to Expect: Casual atmosphere with quick moving games
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Nike LeBron 11

Right along the Hudson, Riverbank Park is a ideal summertime streetball destination. Riverbank features four courts, with two full-sized so the park can get crowded at points but there's always a place to hop right into the action. Although there's no shade, the views and breeze that comes off the river makes up for that, and don't worry too much about getting embarrassed out there as the skill level and competition is rather laxed overall.

Image via NYCParks
Image via NYCParks

De Witt Clinton Park 

Where: W. 53rd St. between 11th and 12th Ave.
Competition Level: Recreational
What to Expect: Relaxed atmosphere to work on your craft
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Reebok Kamikaze

The recently renovated De Witt Clinton park features two full length courts that were freshly painted and the installment of plexiglass backboards. The upgrades have made De Witt Clinton a staple for streetballers and games generally run throughout the day. The park is usually most crowded after work and weekends, but it's not a bad thing as games move rather quick, so it's an ideal place to go develop your game before heading to the big leagues. 

Image via CourtsoftheWorld
Image via CourtsoftheWorld

Central Park Basketball Courts

Where: Central Park South between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
Competition Level: Intermediate
What to Expect: Casual after work pick-up games
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: adidas D Rose 4.5

Also known at the "Great Lawn" the courts in Central Park are not for the faint of heart. Due to it's location and large amount of fairly nice and well maintained courts, the Great Lawn produces some of the top talent from around the city. Pick-up games generally run all day as long as the weather holds up, and there's various levels of competition just make sure you scope it out before calling next. The courts also get crowded due to the scenery surrounding them, which makes sitting out for a game or two after a loss slightly more tolerable.

Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook

Columbus Park

Where: 67 Mulberry Street
Competition Level: Recreational
What to Expect: Fast paced, high flying pick-up games
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Nike Kobe 9 EM

Located right in the heart of Chinatown, Columbus Park is one of the most historic in the city. The courts got a recent makeover with a fresh paint job and newly renovated backboard and baskets, which have made Columbus Park even more popular then it already was. The park plays host to events for teenagers and youth leagues so choose wisely on when you go there, but go at the right time and you'll find some of the most athletic and gifted players from around the area.

Image via newyorkhoteles
Image via newyorkhoteles

West Fourth Street Courts (The Cage)

Where: Ave. Of Americas, W. 3 St. and W. 4 St.
Competiton Level: Upper intermediate
What to Expect: Be ready to get flexed on in the paint
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Nike Zoom Soldier VII

Simply known as "The Cage", the West Fourth Street courts is where you can find some of the most serious streetballers in all the city. Nicknamed "The Cage" due to it's design and smaller than-regulation courts, if you want to play here, you better be ready to get gritty and don't be surprised if you get thrown around a bit. Due to the popularity of the courts and high level of competition, you better hope you win the first game, because chances are the losers will be waiting a while.

Image via NYCParks
Image via NYCParks

Holcombe Rucker Park

Where: W. 155 St., 8 Ave. To Harlem River Drive
Competition Level: Elite
What to Expect: Be prepared to get embarrassed
Most Popular Shoe Spotted: Nike Hyperdunk 2013

Not much needs to be said about Rucker Park. The history speaks for itself, as the greatest streetballers to ever come out of NYC all laced up and played at the Rucker, and was the hometown court of Kareem Abdul Jaabar. Today, the Rucker plays host to the Entertainers Basketball Classic, the world's top street basketball tournament, but there's still pick-up games that run every Sunday starting at 12pm, just be aware your likely to get dunked on as the best streetballers around the city still consider this their Mecca and look to dominate all new comers.

Image via NYCParks
Image via NYCParks

RELATED: The 25 Best Basketball Sneakers from the Past 5 Years
RELATED: The Best Basketball Shoes for Streetball