1.7 Million Dangerous Portable Basketball Hoops Recalled

By DAVID HO, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - About 1.7 million portable basketball hoops are being recalled because they may have sharp protruding bolts that can cause serious cuts.

Lifetime Products Inc., of Clearfield, Utah, is offering repairs for about 1.7 million of the hoops, while Escalade Sports, of Evansville, Ind., is doing the same for about 16,000 hoops, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.

Lifetime has received 27 reports of injuries involving the bolts, and Escalade has received one. Most of those hurt were children, and several needed stitches, the agency said.

Chris Schroeder, of Pensacola, Fla., said his 12-year-old son Justin was playing with one of the Lifetime hoops a few months ago when the bolt caught on his right leg and tore a deep 8-inch gash.

"I had to hold his leg together," Schroeder said. He said he rushed his son to an emergency room where he received 35 stitches.

All Lifetime models, except the "Quick Court" model, are included in the recall.

The recalled Escalade hoops are the Harvard brand "Big Easy" with model numbers B3100, B3301, B3302, B3303, B3304, B3305, B3306, B3403, B3500; the Spalding brand "Big Easy" with model number B3402; and the Apex brand "Alley Court" with model number B9995.

The recalled hoops have black metal poles and a flat plastic base weighted down by either sand or water that is added when buyers assemble the product. Brand names or model names may appear on the backboard, main pole or the base.

Stores including Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and Toys R Us sold the Lifetime basketball hoops between January 1994 and July 2000 and the Escalade hoops between March 1994 and December 2001 for between $80 and $500.

The government said people should stop using the basketball hoops and contact the companies to receive free cap nuts to cover the bolts. Users should get the cap nuts even if their bolts don't protrude, the safety commission said.

Consumers can contact Lifetime Products Inc. toll-free at (800) 225-3865 and Escalade Sports at (800) 467-1397 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)