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Basketball for Seniors

January 26, 2011

reposted with permission from SFGATE.COM,  Monday, January 24, 2011

by Sam Whiting

San Francisco Chronicle January 24, 2011

Senior Basketball
Photo: Jerome T. Nakagawa / Special to the Chronicle
Bill Beshore (center) plays with (left) Jay Kaufman, Tom Malfatti, Jim Pierce and Jim Callan.

Softball only goes so far, in terms of a workout. So Bill Beshore, 73, of Burlingame supplements it with basketball every Monday, playing half-court games for two hours.

Why: For eight years I have been playing senior softball three times a week, but felt I wasn’t getting enough cardiac exercise. So about a year ago some teammates from the Redwood City Seniors Softball Club formed a group to play basketball once a week. The group ranges in age from the mid-60s to mid-70s, and we play 3-on-3 or 4-on-4.

Greatest accomplishment: Being able to scrimmage for two hours, which is a thorough workout. Also: regaining my shooting eye and, best of all, reacquiring my hook shot for the first time since I was on the freshman team at Dartmouth College in 1956.

Gear you can’t live without: My Spalding TF-1000 basketball. It’s an indoor-only ball. I like the grip and the bounce on it. I wore the first one out.

Where you train: At Red Morton Community Center in Redwood City. Anybody 55 or older who wants to get back into shape can come out and join us.

Most annoying thing people assume about athletes in your sport: That we’re too old to play basketball or participate in other strenuous sports.

Advice you’d give a rookie: Start off slowly, and then push yourself a little harder each day. Remember that your fellow ballplayers are feeling the heat of play, too. Most importantly, nobody will remember the score tomorrow.

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