London Balling!
April 30, 2007 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Upcoming work assignment in London. I want to play some basketball while there...

There is a good chance that I will be doing a 6-month work stint in London from July-December. I am usually a pretty lazy sort of fellow, but I do play pick-up basketball twice a week and absolutely LOVE it. I get some good exercise, have lost a few pounds, and have made some good friends within the group of regulars that play. I'd like to continue to play while staying in London.

So what is the basketball scene like in London? The words “basketball” and “England” don't typically come up together very often in my experience, but I assume that there are some ballers over there. Is there anyplace where I might be able to find a regular pick-up game? In a gym or at an outdoor park?

I don't know anything about where I might be staying during my assignment, but let's assume I'm willing to go pretty much anywhere Tube-accessible.
posted by Arch_Stanton to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
This listing from Time Out seems to indicate that the magic words are "scrimmage sessions" if you're looking for a pick-up game - maybe Craigslist might have something . Some local teams here. Here's a youth basketball league looking for volunteers.
posted by mdonley at 8:36 PM on April 30, 2007

Also, there seem to be things called "leisure centres" - which would presumably offer some sort of fitness or health facilities. Here's the website of the sport and leisure department of the City of Westminster.
posted by mdonley at 8:42 PM on April 30, 2007

Not to derail, but as an American who has lived in London for about ten years, well, let's just say there ain't basketball scene as you might be accustomed to it in The States.

No parks with backboards, no garages in the 'burbs with the usual game going on.

If you're looking for exercise and perhaps a chance to interact with locals, why not engage in some football while you're here?

I do see the odd game being played on the streets and, of course, the parks are full of players.
posted by Mutant at 10:03 PM on April 30, 2007

A load of parks in Lambeth in South London have basketball courts, which are well-used. I run past the ones in Brockwell Park and there's usually a game going on. The local kids would probably be delighted to have a real-live American show up.

And yeah, if you want to play football, (soccer) you can't walk five yards without tripping over a game. Clapham Common has lots of casual kickabouts.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:06 AM on May 1, 2007

On the other hand, although there isn't much basketball, the basketball there is tends, in my experience, to be of quite a low standard. So you'll probably find yourself in a higher percentile of talent than you normally do.
That might be fun.
posted by greytape at 3:19 AM on May 1, 2007

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