Granny basketball team proves you’re never too old to have fun

CARLISLE, Iowa (WHO) – The Iowa Girls State Basketball Tournament is taking over Wells Fargo Arena this week, but some other players in the state are proving you’re never too old to play the game.

More than 500 women in 10 states play in the Granny Basketball League. They call it a gentle game for women of a certain age. It’s a way for them to get a little exercise and have a lot of fun. But make no mistake, these grannies play to win.

The defending national champions, The Lady Redbirds, are back at practice for another season.

“They’re a little rusty, they’ve been you know, on break, but they will come through. I’ve got a really good team,” said Coach Marj Madison.

Not just a good team, but a fun team. 

You don’t have to be a granny to play in the league — you just have to be 50 years old — which consists of six-on-six games that move at a slower pace.

“I tell people when they first join, you really need to dial it back. The hardest thing is to learn how to shoot without jumping,” explained player Joyce Harris.

There’s no jumping, no running, no reaching over a player to block. 

“A lot of the rules are for keeping us from getting hurt, but we still can get hurt,” said Harris.

Harris knows. She blew out her knee two seasons ago, but fought back from injury to help the Redbirds end their season with a win last year. She says the competitive drive doesn’t stop no matter how old you get.

“It never goes away,” said Harris.

Playing granny basketball helps keep them young.

“We like to think of it as some way to get out and still be active,” said Madison.

“Absolutely, I would be sitting on the couch getting really, really fat if I wasn’t still doing this,” joked Harris.

Coach Madison says the Redbirds’ roster is full, but she’s hoping to start another team.  If you’re interested in playing with them or starting your own team, you’ll find more information at Wanna Play? – Granny Basketball

The Granny Basketball season runs from March 23 to May 18. The Iowa Senior Games will be held in early June and the National Tournament is in August in Kansas City.

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