Published : Monday, January 20, 2020 | 9:48 AM
The Pasadena Senior Center Women’s Basketball League celebrated its 10th anniversary Jan. 12 at an outdoor gathering.
A decade ago, Pasadena resident Louise Jones, then 65 years old, had the idea of starting a basketball league of women 50 and older. After gathering other passionate hopefuls and proposing the idea to Pasadena Senior Center staff, the league was formed.
“All we wanted to do was play ball,” said Jones, now an experienced post player in the half-court, 3-on-3 games. “How could you not want to do this? Meeting people and the games are so fun.”
Through the years, curious rookies have been joined by former high school and college players, excited to uncork their competitive juices again and share their knowledge of the game. Guided by an infectious camaraderie, the group has remained true to its roots, ensuring that all skill levels feel welcome and safe.
Today the league offers three weekly open gyms, and many of the players also compete in the annual Pasadena Senior Games, sponsored by the Pasadena Senior Center. The games are a precursor every other year to the biennial National Senior Games.
More than 30 current players attended the Jan. 12 gathering to thank the founders and celebrate the joy – and sometimes therapeutic outlet – found on the hardwood court.
“Look at us,” said Judy Marcelline, 58, a veteran of three National Senior Games. “We are all ballers in our hearts.”
The league has also inspired onlookers and changed their perspectives of the intensity and abilities of older athletes. The thrill of a perfect backdoor pass or a three-point buzzer beater knows no age limit.
“It’s the best part of turning 50,” said one newly tournament-eligible player after reaching the mid-century mark. The 2021 National Senior Games (nsga.com) will be in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and to be sure members of the Pasadena basketball league are already dreaming of victory.
For more information about the league visit www.pasadenaseniorcenter.org and click on Activities or call 323-320-0948. For more information about the Pasadena Senior Games visit www.pasadenaseniorcenter.org and click on Events or call (626) 685-6702.