Senior citizens use basketball to keep 'chasing their glory'
(WAFB) - The NBA playoffs have everyone, from grade-schoolers to grandparents, thinking about basketball.
"We are basketball fanatics," said Bob Brumberger.
Three days a week, you'll find them on a worn court playing a young man's game.
"We're still chasing our glory," said Brumberger.
All of them are three-quarters of a century or older. "I'm 89-years-old," said Dwight Smith.
Smith is the senior citizen of the group and blind in one eye, an old basketball injury. Dwight's been putting up 3-pointers on the other guys since about the time 3-pointers became a thing.
"Every one of them has had major operations, knee replacements, hip replacement," said Smith.
That's caused them to re-think some of the rules. "We used to play full-court everyday. We're slowing up a little bit," said Brumberger.
Now they play half-court. It takes a little longer to get up from a charge, but they play just as hard as ever.
"It's a really a deep passion for all of us, the health benefits, the psychological benefits. And when you nail a 3-point shot, your heart skips a beat," said Brumberger.
Which can be a problem when you're pushing 90.
"We have one fella out here that actually died while playing basketball and he's on the court right now," said Smith.
By all accounts, Joe Easley shouldn't be here. He died not once, but three times.
"I died on the court. They revived me, and on the way to the hospital, I died twice more," said Easley.
Two heart stents and six weeks later, Easley was back chasing glory. His advice to the young and the old is the same his doctor gave him after restarting his heart. "The doctor said, 'Don't sit on the porch,'" said Easley.
At this point in life, others will say these men have earned the right to slow down, take it easy, to sit back and reflect.
"We look forward to our games. We talk about them, when we win, when we lose," said Brumberger.
But how much more meaningful it is to look forward and chase glory.
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