Best Park for Pickup Basketball - 2009
Some may take issue with giving this award to a place that charges for an activity that's typically free, but look at it this way: The hoopin' has gotta be good if it's all pay-to-play (not much, only a few duckets). Encanto is Phoenix's one-and-only spot for finding legendary pickup games that parallel those found in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Said another way, you'll rarely find armchair hoopers trying to work out their remote-control elbow on this concrete court. Basketballing hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
When the downtown Y remodeled its facility a few years ago, it upgraded the wooden upstairs b-ball court. The result is a full-on awesome gym — minus the creaky floorboards and dead spots in the paint. Don't have an indoor-worthy basketball? No problem, because you can rent one free of charge at the front desk, whether you're playing a game of H-O-R-S-E, running full-court in a pickup contest, or playing in a competitive five-on-five league. You either have to be a member or have a guest pass to enter the facility.