‘Grannies’ ready for some basketball

Featuring old-time rules, long-time players

The Missouri Granny Basketball League kicks off its fundraising season at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Jason Gymnasium on the Lincoln University campus in Jefferson City. Their competition will be a team of local pastors and members of the Lincoln University Athletic Department.

NDN-Video

Granny Basketball

In this video report from February 2013, Dave Hoekstra of the Chicago Sun-Times discovers Granny Basketball in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

James Klahr, director of the Missouri Ethics Commission and long-time attorney for Gov. Jay Nixon, will serve as announcer for the game, which is usually a fun night for all attendees. There will be a raffle drawing and entertainment during the halftime show. Cheerleaders, all age 50-plus, along with an enthusiastic pep squad, will warm up the crowd. Refreshments are available, too.

Tickets to the basketball game are $5, with children younger than 12 admitted free. All of the money raised goes to the Common Ground Community Center, a ministry that provides financial assistance, educational and outreach services to the community.

Currently there are 35 granny basketball players in the league here organized into three teams: “Passing Fancies,” “Shooting Stars” and “Capital Chicks,” who can be identified by the colorful socks they wear as well as their uniforms of baggy black bloomers and white blouses. The Grannies must play by their “old-time” rules and the other team is usually handicapped in some way.

The First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City and other partnering congregations, including Grace Episcopal, First Presbyterian Church, Central United Church of Christ and First Baptist Church, support Common Ground. Each visitor to the benevolence center, located at 1015 E. Atchison St., must meet certain requirements to receive assistance. For more information about the services and ministries offered at Common Ground Community Building at www.cgcb.org.

For more information about the Missouri Granny Basketball league, go to www.grannybasketball.com, www.facebook.com/MOgrannybasketball or watch a video report at www.youtube.com/watch?v=GV67asSiyPk.

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