The high-flying exploits of Michael Jordan have gained massive media attention in recent weeks thanks to the release of Netflix’s ‘The Last Dance’ documentary.
This documentary has rekindled a passion for basketball for a number of people who were already familiar with the sport, while many of the uninitiated have reported feeling a spark of interest in the game which they previously did not have.
Sport has a way of awakening a passion inside of people, and a group of elderly basketballers who are known as the ‘Splash Sisters’ are proof that this passion does not come with an expiry date.
The Splash Sisters are a group of women who are part of the San Diego Senior Women’s Basketball Association, a women’s basketball league for those 50 years of age or older.
While other teams have players in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, the Splash Sisters are the elders of the league and boast a talented roster of women over the age of 80.
The Splash Sisters actually have several team members in their 90s and a few approaching the age of 100.
While the game itself has been modified to 3-on-3 and played in the half-court for roughly 30 mins, this alteration did not dampen the competitive spirit of its competitors.
However, there has been one development in recent times that has forced all involved to step away from the hardwood court, and that reason is COVID-19.
With play suspended since March, 94-year-old basketballer Grace Larsen is a 14-year veteran of the team who is setting an example for her teammates by continuing to sharpen her skills from home.
We’ve got to be ready to get back to basketball, so we better be active,” Larsen said.
Ms Larsen is a former municipal court deputy clerk in her hometown of San Diego who is relishing the chance to play organised sport in her later life because these opportunities did not exist for women when she was younger.
Instead, Ms Larsen chose to play football with kids in the street and basketball in gym class at her school.
Throughout quarantine, Ms Larsen has been going for daily walks and executing drills to improve her dribbling skills with the help of some training videos that were put together by the team’s coach.
The team’s coach, CJ Maloney, has been both a player and coach for the Splash Sisters for the last five years, and regularly check-ins in with her teammates via the telephone.
Fellow Splash Sisters teammate Marge Carl is a 90-year-old daredevil who jumped out of a plane last year, but she has now taken to walking the stairs in her apartment complex to stay fit and be ready for the day when they can tip-off once again.
Getting involved in a sport is one of the most fun and rewarding ways to maintain physical fitness and the Splash Sisters are living proof that you are never too old to put your hand up and remove yourself from the bench.
Photo Credit – ESPN YouTube