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I am thinking of mounting a standard basketball hoop like this on the drywall in my garage. Is it a good idea? I worry it might damage the drywall, particularly when the ball keeps hitting the rim and each hit has a little leverage that might eventually damage the wall.

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Unless this is going to be mounted 3' off the ground for small children to use with a Nerf™ basketball, the ball hitting the drywall will destroy the drywall after a half-dozen or so shots. If it is to be mounted 3' off the ground for small children to use, expect the adults to smack into it on numerous occasions until it gets ripped out of the wall accidentally (or intentionally by someone tired of the bruised hip).

Get a backboard with a hoop. The backboard will come with a mounting bracket and that can be mounted to some 2x lumber that can be mounted across several studs in wall.

The advantages of this:

  1. The backboard will protect the drywall
  2. The mounting bracket will be designed by the manufacturer to properly hold up the assembly.
  3. The dimensional lumber (2x) will spread the weight of older kids, their friends, drunken buddies, whatever, who decide to hang on the rim.
    1. Attempting to mount anything more than a toothbrush holder directly to drywall (without hitting studs somewhere) will end up in the item pulling out of the wall sooner or later. A basketball hoop/backboard will be very much on the "sooner" end of the scale.
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Unless your garage is the size of a basketball court, I assume that you are using this for children to play when it's rainy outside, and not to have a neighborhood-wide tournament.

Attach a piece of wood to the drywall first, for example a piece of 1x6. Or a piece of plywood if you want, but I'd be careful with making this look like a real setup, as it will tempt players to dunk, etc., and any type of rough game will destroy your garage.

Whatever piece of wood you use, just make sure the piece of wood is longer than 16", and use 2" screws to fix this piece of wood to the studs supporting the drywall. The exact length of the screws depends on the thickness of your drywall material (safely to assume 5/8" in a garage)+ the thickness of the wood you use (safe 3/4") + thickness of the metal attached to the rim. The idea is 1" penetration into the studs. You can go longer, but then you risk damaging any electrical or plumbing going through the studs, which by code must be 1" deep into the studs.

Then use the mounting hardware from the hoop to attach the hoop to the piece of wood.

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    I'd suggest a sheet of plywood much larger than 1x6, so there's a backboard behind the hoop that won't be destroyed. When the ball hits the wall.
    – keshlam
    Sep 29 at 2:57
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    @isherwood I changed the recommendation to 2". I am always afraid of recommend anyone bite more than 1" into studs, as plumbing and electrical can be installed after the 1" mark.
    – Cheery
    Sep 29 at 14:12

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