The key ingredients for a successful pickup basketball game are reliability, amiability, and competitiveness -- but not too competitive. Let's face it, most of us aren't good enough to dunk over someone at Mosswood Park; most of us just want have fun while getting some needed exercise. Thankfully, there is such a venue for more modest pickup ballers at Berkeley's beautiful Codornices Park, where the basketball court is surrounded by towering redwoods. Monday to Friday, players show up at Codornices around 3:30 p.m. and ball until around 6 p.m. The play is solid and the players are friendly -- many of them are alums from the old game at Marin Elementary School that went bust two years ago because of school construction -- and range in age from early twenties to late forties. Team selection is laid-back, determined typically by when people show up -- instead of being determined by some snobby jerk who cherry-picks all the best players. For working stiffs who can't make the weekday games, there's an early Sunday game that starts around 8:30 a.m.