Lifetime 51544 Front Court Portable Basketball Hoop Review

Lifetime 51544 Hoop Specs

Backboard Size:

50 Inches

Backboard Material:


Rim Type:

Uncovered Breakaway

Base Size: 

34 Gallons

Support Pole:

3 Piece, 3.5" Diameter

Height Adjustment:

8-10 Feet



Total Score
Backboard - 7.5
Rim - 8.0
Support Pole - 7.5 
Value - 8.0 
Features - 8.0

Where To Buy:

Find The Best Price


  • One of the only low cost hoops that features backboard and support pole padding
  • The base is a step up in quality from previous Lifetime portable basketball system models
  • Height adjustment mechanism is well designed and very easy to operate


  • Polycarbonate backboard may not perform to the standard that more advanced players are accustomed to
  • Vibrations can be significant with three piece support system hoops
  • Rim's springs may begin to rust over time if not protected during off season

Full Review


Main Features: Lifetime 51544 Front Court Portable Basketball System 

  • 50 Inch shatter proof backboard made from a polycarbonate material
  • The basketball system is supported by a three piece steel support system that is powder coated
  • 34 gallon base that features two plastic wheels to make transportation smoother
  • Spring loaded breakaway rim with two exposed springs
  • One hand height adjustment that does not require any tools

We have reviewed many Lifetime basketball hoops here at Hoops Fiend.  Today we are checking out one of their newest models, the Lifetime 51544 Front Court Portable Basketball System.  For the price, it is one of the best portable basketball hoop values available today.

Starting with the base, the Lifetime 51544 features a mid-sized 34 gallon base that comes with two plastic wheels that are used for making transportation of the system easier.  Some users have stated that while the 34 gallon base is nice, you may feel the need to add more weight such as cement blocks if you plan on doing any dunking.  FYI, we do not recommend dunking on this hoop as it really is not capable of handling rough play and will breakdown over time with such abuse.  Overall, the base is a step up from previous Lifetime portable systems in quality and strength.

The rim on this Lifetime 51544 Portable Basketball Hoop is pretty much the standard rim for all mid-priced Lifetime systems.  It has two springs that are exposed.  Definitely great for practice, but these rims are not gym quality.  We feel they frequently bounce more than we like when the basketball hits the rim and the springs do have a tendency to rust in wetter climates.  We recommend covering the hoop during the colder months when you will be unlikely to get out for a game of pickup ball.  As with all Lifetime basketball systems the 51544 Front Court Portable Basketball Hoop comes with an all-weather net included.

A strength for most Lifetime basketball models is the easy height adjustment mechanism.  Lifetime refers to the height adjustment tool for the 51544 as the Speed Shift.  With one hand you can easily adjust the height of the Lifetime 51544 Portable Basketball System from 8 to 10 feet in 6 inch increments.  The height adjustment range is a weakness, as most other portable basketball systems can adjust from 6 to 10 feet, and many better models having infinite increments.

The Lifetime 51544 Front Court Portable Basketball System features a 50 inch backboard made from a polycarbonate material.  Polycarbonate is the most popular material for value priced portable basketball systems, and are best suited for young players and families who plan to use the hoop for low-duty recreation.  The strength of the polycarbonate backboard is that it is less likely to break than acrylic and tempered glass, but will not perform nearly as well in regard to responsiveness.

As far as support goes the Lifetime 51544 Portable Basketball System has a three piece steel support that is powder coated to reduce rusting.  Three piece support systems are the standard for lower priced hoops, and do suffer from more vibrating during play than other support options.  We do like the two vertical backboard supports which do help to keep the backboard a little more stable during bank shots.

The hoop comes with the standard five year warranty from Lifetime, which is substantial if you run into any issues.  We also are a fan of the added padding on the support pole and under the backboard, which is not seen on many hoops in the 51544’s price range.

Hoops similar to the Lifetime 51544 Front Court Portable Basketball System include the Lifetime 51550 and the Spalding Pro Slam.

Nick Daniels

About Nick Daniels

Nick Daniels has been involved in the game of basketball from a young age. A shooting specialist, he once finished 3rd in a state wide free throw shooting contest. Most recently, he coached a youth basketball team and continues to play weekly games of pickup hoops at his local YMCA. Nick started Hoops Fiend in 2013.