February 8, 2021 • Basketball

Standing above the rest: Taking your equipment to the next level with Spalding

{Sponsored} For basketball players aspiring to take their game to the next level, it’s important for them to practice on equipment that they will play on in the future. And for the ultimate experience for those seeking to be part of NCAA Division I play or even the NBA, Spalding backstops are how to get athletes prepared.


As the official backboard of the NBA as well as NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Championships, the Spalding backboard sees more high-level action than any other backboard on the market. The latest innovation from Spalding is also used in tournament play: the Spalding Arena Renegade Portable Backstop. This portable set-up provides a clean view for spectators by hiding cables in a sturdy channel.

In addition to providing the equipment, Spalding is also at the tournaments with sideline support, ensuring that game delays are limited during play. “Spalding is designed for elite athletes,” said Ruey Peck, Spalding senior account manager for arena accounts. “You don’t have to worry about game delays. We set it up properly and are there courtside. We do inspections and testing every day as well as our due diligence to ensure camera guys aren’t hanging equipment or touching the glass.”

Arena-Renegade-from Spalding


Peck has been with the company for the majority of the last 30 years. At a potential new installation, Peck spends time examining the support structure of existing rims and backboards. He checks for proper materials and engineering, and recommends a new set-up with proper mounting on steel poles rather than aluminum.

If Spalding equipment can’t be installed due to facility constraints, Peck won’t recommend it. “We won’t put our name on something that isn’t premium quality,” Peck said.


Whether it is for practice in preparation for higher-level play or used as a recruitment strategy, Spalding is the right choice for many schools. “(Schools) want to have Spalding on their practice courts because it helps them recruit players with a quality product. What they see in practice and in NCAA finals and NBA is Spalding,” Peck said. “They want to practice on what they play on. When they see Spalding will be at the largest Division 1 college basketball tournament of the year this year, I think the teams who practice on Spalding have an advantage. They are practicing on a portable and they want to practice on the same portable as the next level,” Peck continued.

Jamie Huxhold of Next Level Sports Group in Indianapolis, Ind. has worked with Peck and Spalding for over twenty years. Next Level supplies basketball equipment as well as project management during installations for facilities all over Indiana and for some facilities outside of the state. This includes service work for replacement parts on used equipment.

Huxhold’s customers prefer the portable goals, especially those built by Spalding and used in the major tournaments. “We’ve done a very good job of getting the Spalding product into most of the colleges and Universities within the state of Indiana as well as Kentucky and some outlying states,” Huxhold said. He appreciates the commitment Spalding has to the sport of basketball — a trait that sets them apart from other manufacturers, where “it’s just one sport amongst many in terms of product offerings,” Huxhold said.

The latest enhancements to Spalding basketball equipment include updated rims. Many rims still use ramhorns or figure eights for the net, but the Spalding set-ups now use a cable system for a streamlined look. Also, the rims are breakaway, which means that elite players can slam dunk without risking shattering the backboard.

Along with the new Arena Renegade Portable Backstop, these enhancements are all designed with performance and usability in mind. The Renegade will allow for extensions that meet requirements for high school through professional gameplay as well as international specifications.


Spalding’s history is as storied as many championship basketball teams’. From the strong foundation developed by aerospace engineers, the basic rim and backboard concepts have survived through several ownership changes and are still used today.

The technology has been tweaked over the years to accommodate how elite players abuse the equipment, but the foundations are the same. As athletes’ needs change, the field technicians and product developers work together to find an innovative solution. As with all Spalding products, the finish is powder coated rather than painted, so it won’t chip or wear with time.

For more information about Spalding’s basketball equipment, visit www.spalding.com/arena-gym-equipment/arena-and-gym-basketball-hoops/.

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