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It’s basketball with a safety net

Many families have portable basketball hoops set up in the driveway, and although convenient, they could create a hazard should kids go chasing balls that roll or bounce into the street. This new setup tries to keep danger out of bounds.

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Airball Grabber: Rich Barnes had a close encounter with a flying basketball several years ago while driving through a residential neighborhood. Luckily, no accident occurred, but it got Barnes thinking. “I thought there must be a way to keep the balls in the yard,” he said, “since many of these hoops are at the end of the driveway and the kids wind up playing in the street.”

He came up with the idea of putting a large net behind the basketball stand and had a friend, Jim Fieberg, execute the design. The Airball Grabber consists of a nylon mesh netting attached to fiberglass rods hooked up to the back of the stand. The netting extends above the backboard and on either side of the pole, preventing the ball from rolling into the street or elsewhere.

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Price: 8 feet by 13 feet, $159.95; 10 feet by 14 feet, $179.95. Available online, at www.airballconcepts.com.

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-- Jeannine Stein


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