Just because most NBA and WNBA players retire in their 30s and 40s, don’t think it’s ever too late to play basketball. Case in point: The San Diego Splash, an 80-and-older women’s basketball team.
espnW released a beautiful short film about the Splash, a group of women who use basketball to feel young, stay active and enhance their social support system.
They’re the oldest team in the San Diego Senior Women’s Basketball Association, which gives women who are 50 and older the chance to hoop.
Games feature 3-on-3 half court action with two 15-minute halves, and most importantly, they give Splash players an opportunity they never had when they were younger.
“I was 78 years old when I got my first basketball shoes, so that was a thrill because I never played all my life; never had the chance to play,” Grace Larsen said in the video. “Growing up, we didn’t have sports like the girls do today. We didn’t have the opportunity to play. That was before Title IX. I thought that would be so much fun if I could actually play basketball.”
As much fun as it’s been, it’s also been life-saving, according to Meg Skinner, 91, who worked through multiple tragedies using the sport.
Skinner, meanwhile, credits basketball for helping her cope with one of the most tragic periods of her life. Her husband of 42 years died of heart complications in January 1992. Thirteen months later her sister and brother-in-law died in a plane crash. Seven weeks later her son died of a drug overdose. (San Diego Union Tribune)
Here’s a look at this fun, passionate and talented team: