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Grannies got game: Oklahoma seniors take up basketball during retirement

Posted at 9:36 AM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 17:10:58-04

TULSA, Okla. — At 81 years old, Mike Tameny is having the time of his life.

He taught and coached high school basketball for 41 years. But these players, he says, are challenging his coaching skills.

"This group is a unique bunch of women," Tameny said, laughing.

And he wouldn't have it any other way.

"What I was used to in high school was quickness, jumping ability, and eye-hand coordination," Tameny said. "But those things are limited here."

Limited because this team, the Tulsa Hot Shots, is part of a national women's league, and it's made of senior women 50 to 80 years old.

"The majority of them have not played any basketball before this," Tameny said.

Sherril Stone played as a kid and when she was in the Air Force. She admits getting back on the court wasn't the easiest thing she's done. "I started out a little creaky like most of us did," Stone said. "But we're getting really in shape and we all feel better."

But it's the friendships, the exercise, and the competition that bring Stone and her teammates to Hicks Park Community Center twice a week for practices. And the three-on-three, half-court games keep everyone in shape, or close to being in shape.

All of it, is under the watchful eye of Tameny who says everyone forgets how old they are when they're focused on the ball.

"Nothing hurts when I'm out here," Tameny said. "When I'm home sitting down, things hurt!"

You're not going to see any three-pointers or slam dunks. Instead, Tameny says these women have their own styles.

"Most of them shoot the old two-hand style which is fine," he said.

And where they're in the zone, they can drop more than a few baskets. He needs more players. So he's putting out the call.

"Anybody out there that would consider getting involved, we'd love to have you," Tameny said. "You don't have to have any skills at all."

"We're getting ready to go to Ft. Lauderdale to the national games in May, so yeah we would love to have more people," Stone said.

Mike Brooks at KJRH first reported this story.