North Carolina loves its basketball, and Charlotte is at the heart of it all. While there are plenty of league-level options, sometimes pick-up basketball is the better way to go. These five area venues boast the best pick-up games in the Charlotte area with all of the fun and none of the crowded drama offered elsewhere.
400 E. Morehead St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Mon to Fri – 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sat – 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Dowd YMCA is conveniently located for those in the greater Charlotte area. It features spacious locker rooms and a large basketball court, which is excellent for pick-up games after work or on lunch. In the evening there are usually league games, so it is best to use it for pick-up games earlier in the day. Take advantage of on-site facilities including everything from a sauna to workout equipment if the game just doesn’t get you sweating enough.
1000 E. Morehead St.
Charlotte, NC 28204
Price: $1 per visit for church members/$3 non-members per visit
Hours: Mon – 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; Wed – 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; Fri – 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
The most well-organized game runs on the campus of Covenant Presbyterian Church at its Recreation Center Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is also one of the earliest, beginning at 6 a.m. It is best for those who like to get in a game before work or class. Find fun in the diverse groups ranging in age from 18 to 60, even former Panthers football players. Its games are friendly and just the right amount of competitive.
5900 Quail Hollow Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28210
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri – 5 a.m to 9 p.m.; Sat – 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun – 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For those in south Charlotte, Harris YMCA may be the best choice. If you have children (or if you don’t, and don’t want them underfoot), Harris offers programs specifically designed for kids, but also has areas specifically for adults only. With two courts, adults-only play time is rarely hard to come by. There is plenty of parking available in its easy access parking lot.
3127 Weddington Rd.
Matthews, NC 28105
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fri – 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sat – 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Also in the south Charlotte area, a little further out in Matthews suburb, Siskey YMCA offers easy-to-find pick-up options. It features twin courts, adult and family locker rooms, and two-hour drop-in child-care. Committed players or YMCA members looking to step up their game may add a little seasonal league play to the pick-up agenda as well. Get in touch with like-minded players at a great facility for ballers of any skill level.
7210 Stinson Hartis Rd.
Indian Trail, NC 28079
Price: $5 per person
Click here to see open gym schedule
If you’re not up for hitting the Y or just aren’t close enough to covenant rec, hit up Indian Trail at Carolina Courts. Like the YMCA, Carolina Courts has an open gym schedule that allows players to drop in any time in for pick-up games. The hours for open gym vary so check the schedule before heading out. This venue is easy to locate, just off of Independence Boulevard.
Related: Fitness Training: A Healthy Approach
Vincent Eagan, III is a minister who has preached and taught Jesus in 30 states and Peru over the last 15 years. He currently lives in Monroe, NC, and is working on his MTh in Theology. He has been a life-long student of the Bible and other religious texts, and loves to discuss history. His work can be found at Examiner.com.