Leonid Serbinov ’21 is a second-year IB student at TASIS who also happens to be a 6’7” (200 cm) monster that can throw down dunks with ease. He has been a standout member of the Varsity Basketball team the past two winter seasons, but given the safety restrictions that have been in place for the past year, he hasn’t spent nearly as much time on the Palestra court as he’d like. Fortunately Leo has been exploring Lugano since he and his family moved here from Russia in 2019, and he’s been able to discover some of the best outdoor basketball courts in the area. He is pleased to share his findings with the TASIS community.
By Leonid Serbinov ’21
Hello, everyone! In this blog post I’d like to share some of my favorite—and not so favorite—outdoor basketball courts located in Lugano and its neighboring districts. Hopefully those of you who like to practice basketball in the fresh air and have been in a muddle as to what’s the best place to play will have all your questions answered after reading this post. Without further ado, let’s get started!
#1 Via Bertaro Lambertenghi 4, 6900 Lugano
Apart from a pretty collage, each court listing will be accompanied by a few personal comments as well as a short list of its pluses and minuses. The court at Via Bertaro Lambertenghi 4 happens to be my favorite one, and there are several reasons for this:
+ Regulation-height rims (both mounted at 10 feet)
+ Surface is quite smooth
+ All the key line markings are included (e.g. foul line, 3-point line, central circle)
+ Abundance of parking lots in the area
+ Close to the center of Lugano
+ Illumination in the evenings
+ Small fountain with drinkable water next to the court
As for its minuses, there’s not a lot I can say, but one of the things I would probably change is the surface material:
- Concrete surface, making it not suitable for dunking sessions
Overall, this court is a great place to work on your game, and you might also want to put it at the top of your list.
#2 Via Stefano Franscini 8, 6815 Melide
My second favorite court in Lugano is the one at Via Stefano Franscini 8. It has the following positive attributes:
+ Regulation-height rims (maybe slightly higher, 10’0”–10’1”)
+ Key markings are included
+ Softer surface (some sort of rubber)
+ Amazing view
+ Goals for those who also like to play soccer
This court does, however, have many more downsides than it might seem to have at first glance:
- Double rims, leading to funny bounces
- Surface too soft for jumping drills
- Lack of adequate parking nearby
- Far (about 7 km) from the center of Lugano
My verdict on this court is that if none of the minuses I listed above really discourage you from visiting it, you should definitely give it a go. Who knows, maybe it’ll become your go-to court.
#3 Via Antonio Adamini 25, 6900 Lugano
Some of you may already know this court as it is located on the way from the center of Lugano to TASIS (or vice versa). Having played there a couple times, I identified the following pluses:
+ All rims are roughly regulation-height
+ Illumination in the evenings
+ Very close to the city center, meaning lots of shops in the vicinity in case you want to grab a snack or a drink
However, there are a few serious minuses that may put you off visiting this court:
- Inclined surface with a bunch of manholes in it, making it a perfect place to roll your ankle
- Surface made of really hard concrete
- No markings whatsoever
I’ve therefore come to the conclusion that the court at Via Antonio Adamini 25 is only suitable for having brief shooting practices, although you might still face the problem of having to run back and forth chasing the ball due to the court’s slanted surface.
#4 Via la Sguancia, 6900 Paradiso (next to Paradiso Tennis Court)
Although I’ve only practiced on this court once, I think I can still give you some meaningful feedback with regard to its pluses and minuses:
+ Rims are roughly regulation-height
+ Nice rim (iron + chain net) as well as backboard
+ High fence, often making the ball bounce back to you
You must, however, also consider the following negative attributes:
- Surface at an angle—not very big, but still noticeable
- Few markings
Thus, I would suggest the court at Via la Sguancia to those of you who either live close to it or are into tennis, as you’ll be able to save lots of time by having both surfaces in the same location.
#5 Via al Colle 14, 6924 Sorengo (next to Municipio di Sorengo)
Like with the previous court, I haven’t spent hours working on my game at Via al Colle 14. To me, this court’s downsides outweigh its upsides, but you might have a different take on it:
+ Nice rims and backboards
+ All the markings are included
+ Small goals in case you want to play soccer
- Tough to get to—have to drive through narrow streets
- No real parking lots in the vicinity
- Iron made of really hard metal, often resulting in funny bounces
- Rims above regulation-height (10’1”–10’2”)
- No illumination in the evenings
As a result, I would only recommend this court to those of you who live close to it and thus will not have any problems getting there. Otherwise, just keep it in mind as a backup option.
#6 Via Sala 13, 6963 Lugano (next to Puntocitta Pregassona)
This court has several pluses, most of which, however, are not related to basketball:
+ Amazing view
+ Great pizzeria on the other side of the road: Ristorante Pizzeria del Sole
+ Nice backboards and cloth nets
+ Big football pitch as well as children’s playground next to it
As to its minuses, I’ll point out the following:
- Rims below regulation (about 9’8”)
- Blurry markings
- No fencing, allowing the ball to bounce in all possible directions
- Far (about 4 km) from the center of Lugano
Hence, the court at Via Sala 13 turns out to be a great place to spend some time with your family but not that good of a basketball “lab,” especially if you live up in Montagnola.
I’d like to thank everyone who made it to the end of this blog. Having put some real effort in it, I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and I’d love to hear from you if I’ve left out any local outdoor courts you like. Just shoot an email to email@example.com.