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Senior Olympians show basketball has no age limit

Tanner Cook • Sep 16, 2018 at 1:28 AM

JOHNSON CITY — Basketball is not typically thought of as a lifetime sport.

On Saturday morning at East Tennessee State’s Center for Physical Activity, more than 30 people showed up and said otherwise while participating in the Senior Olympics district-level basketball event.

“I’ve been playing basketball since 1965,” John Hyatt said. “It’s great that I can still play. It’s fun that we get out here and play and enjoy it a little bit longer before we get too old to play.”

Hyatt, a graduate of Happy Valley, was on the Ridge Runners team out of Greeneville that took part in Saturday’s men’s 3-on-3 tournament.

Action Athletics won the tournament, but team member Ron Haynes said he was just happy to play hoops with some long-time friends on a Saturday morning.

“I love the game and I’ve always enjoyed it,” Haynes said. “The fact that we still get to play competitive makes it all the more fun, too. I’ve been to the state a couple of times and it’s highly competitive. ... I’ll come out here and play any time I get the chance.”

There were men’s and women’s divisions in the 3-on-3 tournament, as well as several individual competitions.

Among the contests were free-throw shooting, 3- point shooting and “hot shot,” which is similar to a game of around-the-world with a variety of shots inside and outside the 3-point arc. Each shot has certain point values, and the competitor with the most total points at the end of one minute of shooting wins the competition.

The next area competition in the Senior Olympics is shuffleboard at the Kingsport Senior Center on Monday, beginning at 9 a.m. Pickleball is set for Wednesday at Memorial Park in Johnson City and track and field is scheduled for Saturday at Science Hill’s Kermit Tipton Stadium.

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