I just finished playing a winter of basketball in the Grand Forks Men’s City League. A group of men from the Human Nutrition Research Center decided last fall to form a team, and they asked me to join. There were five of us who work at the Center, and four others who don’t, but who have some sort of relationship with someone who does.
Dave Allard, whose family has raised vegetables in the Grand Forks area for decades, also works at the HNRC, and he sponsored our team. We threw around a lot of potential team names, some of which I can’t include in this posting, but finally settled on “The Spud Diggers.” We were placed with 11 other teams in the Men’s Rec Two Division, the least competitive of the four available to Grand Forks men. We started play in November.
At age 47, I was the third oldest, although my teammates seemed to be confused into thinking that because I can run marathons, I must be an awesome basketball player, even at my ripe old age! They soon learned that although I can run for hours, my muscles aren’t in shape for jumping. My eyesight isn’t all that good either, making shooting a challenge from any range. In short, my once extremely modest basketball skills were long gone, leaving me with very little with which to contribute. I usually played 10-15 minutes of each game, filling in while the good players rested, but I had fun.
We had some exciting games, and finished 7th out of 12 teams, qualifying us for the postseason tournament. We lost our first game, but won the remaining two with shots at the buzzer to finish with the consolation championship 5th place. Our final record was 7-7: Not too bad for a bunch of guys who hadn’t played together before!