Best Cities for Outdoor Basketball: Which Ohio Cities Make List?

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Few states have a closer connection to professional basketball than Ohio. A legion of hoops superstars began their path to the NBA on the outdoor courts that are mainstays of cities in the Buckeye State, and Ohio sports betting draws big interest for hoops.

As many Americans ease into summer, many basketball players are looking for places to get out and get some shots up. So turned to the Trust For Public Land’s 2023 City Park Facts data on parks in the nation’s 100 largest cities, counting up the total basketball hoops. After sifting through those numbers, we ranked those cities by total basketball hoops (specific to public parks) per 10,000 residents.

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Cities With Most Outdoor Hoops In Public Parks

Rank City Hoops Per 10,000 Residents (2023)
1 Norfolk, Virginia 17.6
2 Laredo, Texas 9.8
3 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 9.5
4 Madison, Wisconsin 9.2
5 Henderson, Nevada 8.7
6 Cincinnati, Ohio 8.6
7 St. Paul, Minnesota 7.8
8 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 7.4
T9 Cleveland, Ohio 7.3
T9 Minneapolis, Minnesota 7.3
11 Washington, DC 6.9
12 Omaha, Nebraska 6.8
13 Richmond, Virginia 6.5
14 Jacksonville, Florida 6.4
15 North Las Vegas, Nevada 6.2

Where Cincinnati & Cleveland Rank Nationally

Cincinnati ranks sixth on the list with 8.6 hoops per 10,000 residents, and Cleveland is tied for ninth with 7.3 hoops per 10,000. Cleveland is even with another city that hosts an NBA team, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Caesars Sportsbook Ohio lists the Cleveland Cavaliers at +5000 odds to win the 2024 NBA championship.

Whether it be a current NCAA player like Bronny James (of Cleveland) or an NBA stalwart like Utah Jazz forward Darius Bazley (of Cincinnati), the Buckeye State is well repped at every level of men’s basketball. That speaks to the litany of public courts that dot the landscape in the state’s largest metro areas.

National Leaders In Outdoor Basketball Courts

Across America, the leader when it came to the top cities for outdoor hoops players was Norfolk, Virginia (17.6 per 10K). Norfolk is followed by Laredo, Texas (9.8), Baton Rouge, Louisiana (9.5), Madison, Wisconsin (9.2) and Henderson, Nevada (8.7). Customers at Ohio sportsbook apps will recognize a few of those as places where college basketball thrives.

Throw in St. Paul, Minnesota (7.8) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (7.4) and you have the rest of the non-Ohio locations that cracked the top 10 nationally. Washington, D.C. (6.9), Omaha, Nebraska (6.8), Richmond, Virginia (6.5), Jacksonville, Florida (6.4) and North Las Vegas, Nevada (6.2) were the remaining cities to crack the top 15 nationally.

With legions of college and pro players hailing from the two Ohio cities and hundreds of public basketball courts in each locale, it’s no wonder Cincinnati and Cleveland are among the national leaders when it comes to hooping outdoors. That helps the next generation of basketball players hit the ground running as we speak.

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USA Today photo by Caitlyn Jordan/News Sentinel


Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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