Hey, it’s hoop time. Today anyone can find a team and play at any age and skill level. It wasn’t always this way at least not for girls. In 1980, I left my homeland to continue playing basketball abroad, after my professional team collapsed due to lack of support. I thought one of the best things about living in Europe was their club system where anyone could play any kind of ball.
Last summer I was thrilled to speak at National Senior Games and see that the New World finally caught up with the Old World. Now basketball clubs exist for women, all ages, many who grew up pre Title IX and never had the opportunity to play as children.
One of the biggest perks of speaking at the NSG on behalf of National Senior Women’s Basketball Association was meeting a dynamic group who love sport, fitness and promoting a passion for playing games.
Kudos for these ladies from coast to coast, who have been promoting the game for boomers.
Kirsten Cummings, a personal trainer, spearheaded NSWBA, a non profit organization promoting Fitness for Life, Basketball Forever. Kirsten never let physical limitations define her. Though she is hearing impaired, she became a top flight professional basketball player who competed overseas for 14 years and now heads the San Diego contingency. Kirsten was joined in the movement by Helen White, NOVA Basketball and Deb Smith, owner of Not Too Late basketball camp.
On the East Coast, Helen is a founding member and first President of the NOVA United Senior Women’s Basketball Association, located in Northern Virginia. She helped initiate the local Think Pink and National Girls and Women in Sport Day. In collaboration with the WNBA, she arranged for NOVA United teams to play half-time exhibition games during Mystics and Liberty games. In addition, to raise awareness of senior basketball and to show support for the professional players, she connected senior women’s teams in Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, New York, and Texas with WNBA teams in Connecticut, Houston, San Antonio, and Minnesota.
Deb Smith, a Senior National Games board member, is the owner and director of the Not Too Late Basketball Camp for women ages 50 and above. In 2001, she received the State of Maine’s Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Individual Award. She is the Coordinator of the Maine Senior Women’s Basketball Program and plays on the Maine team, where she can post up, block out and board with the best.
In Dallas, Kay Seamayer is founder and president of Basketball and Fitness for Senior Women in the Dallas area where she plays on the 65+ Texas All Stars team, and serves as head coach. They also promote senior women’s basketball through their “Granny Globetrotter” halftime show with exhibition play at WNBA, NBA, colleges, universities, and special events including a special promotion with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Women have arrived! Want more proof? My sister plays on a women’s team with her 24-year-old daughter.
So lace up those hightops, ladies.
Gear up for the Senior Games 2015!
Minneapolis here we come!
I play two times per week at the Y and
love it. There is a guy that plays and plays
Oh I envy you, John. Would love to be back in the gym, driving the baseline on you one last time…just like the good ol’ days. ha ha So great to hear you are still playing. Knock down a 3 for me next time you are at the Y.
How exciting, Pat, to realize we don’t have to let age keep us from doing the sports we love! My parents played tennis well into their sixties and golfed even later — so I have some good personal examples of this. YMCAs and YWCAs are avid proponents of keeping physically fit, at ANY age.
Good for them! Are you still able to play tennis? Or does chasing Dallas keep you fit? ha
Wonderful, Pat. These days I play in my dreams but any chance I get to shoot hoops with my grandsons. I’m on it. I love how the age and gender barriers have melted away.
Nothing like grandsons to keep you fit! Yes, barriers were made to be broken.
What a great honor, Pat, Congrats! You keep great company as member and participant, advocate and educator. Keep going.
Thanks, Clara. I find it so ironical that I once left the USA for the opportunity to play basketball and now everyone back home can shoot hoop.
Woohoo! (Picture me dancing. We have arrived.)
The Massachusetts Miracles plan on being in Minneapolis in 2015. We’re pumping iron now to get ready!
Oh and I’ll bet money on you making it, too.
Kudos to women who don’t let age become a factor! Love to know that women my age are out there running down the court.
Yes, Helene, and don’t you wish we could join them and be teammates.
Thanks for promoting senior basketball. There are women around the country from age 50 to over 80 years young playing 3v3 half-court basketball and loving every minute on the court. Feel free to contact me if you want to find where senior women play.
Helen, I will be speaking about Title IX and the Access to Opportunity at the DIII Final Four at UWSP in March. I will be sure to mention your organization and work.