go to MSN.com
Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Brian Rice passed up the opportunity to play Division-II basketball 25 years ago when he decided to join the Navy. He was a promising high school player with a passion for hoops, but Rice felt he wasn’t “mature” enough to attend college. Now 43 years old and retired from the military, the Geneva College walk-on has decided it is never too late. That’s right, Rice plays basketball for the Geneva (Pa.) College Golden Tornadoes, where he averaged 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds during his first five games against opponents that are less than half his age. “I have to ice my knees now and again and sometimes I’ll go over to the ‘Y’ and get in the Jacuzzi but I’ve been able to handle the physical part of this,” Rice told the Beaver County Times. “I’m 43 but I don’t feel 43. I feel a lot younger than that.” Rice’s high school coach, New Castle’s Ralph Blundo, spoke with Geneva coach Jeff Santarsiero and insisted that he the give Rice a chance even though he is a full 25 years older than the average player Santarsiero is used to evaluating. “Ralph is telling me this guy is 43 years old and wants to play college basketball and I’m thinking, ‘What are the chances a 43-year-old man is going to be able to play on the college level?’” Santarsiero said. “Ralph assured me he was in great shape and I should at least meet with him.” Apparently Blundo was not crazy. The 6-foot-2 Rice said there were very few days in the Navy where he didn’t play basketball, so it’s no surprise his skills have remained sharp after all these years. However, one of the main reasons for his desire to return was to once again be a part of a team. “I also wanted to continue to enjoy that camaraderie you have with your teammates,” Rice explained. “That’s meant a lot to me. There is obviously an age difference but these guys have accepted me as a teammate and appreciate the life’s experiences that I have. I’m having a lot of fun with them.” Santarsiero has not ruled out the possibility of Rice becoming a more significant part of Geneva’s rotation as the season rolls on. Like the boxer who made his professional debut at age 52 or the goalie who was signed as a professional back-up after he surpassed the half-century mark, we can do nothing but tip our cap to people like Rice. If I can reach the rim of a 10-foot hoop with a Nerf ball when I’m in my 40s, I’ll consider that an accomplishment. H/T The Post Game Photo via Geneva.edu

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
5 Comments:
  • Way to go Brian. Went back to college when I was 35.

    Look forward to seeing him in March Madness.
  • may god bless you my brother Im 51 years old and considering a comeback to try out for an NBA team who needs a strong back up shooting guard at 6'2
  • first of all, i'm a University of Kentucky fan. that said, way back in 1988, in what was Eddie Sutton's best year as a U K coach by far, and after U K missed the final four by one point in the 4th game against LSU, the seniors and a team of old timers toured the state to give fans from everywhere a chance to see real live U K players.
    on the day of the exhibition, Goose Givens was out front selling programs. He was an integral part of Joe B's 1978 champs. And there were former U K players everywhere, literally. that was the reason i was there.
    well, to tell the truth i was there to meet one player in particular, former U K guard Louie Dampier. Louie was one of Rupps Runts, but that wasn't where i knew him from. i knew him from his days in the American Basketball Association and the Kentucky Colonels. and Louie was one of the best from beyond the three-point arc in that now-defunct league.
    again, i'm from the outback and i had to tune in to WHAS, the Louisville 50,000 watt am station to hear the Colonel games. i sweated out so many Colonel games and i was going to see Louie and get his autograph.
    thing was, Louie was 43 years old. yes, he had a long and distinguished pro career, but 43, man, c'mon, how you gonna run with players who are, well, 20 some years younger?
    but Louie did. he came in late, but he played like his heart was in it. and he played with that year's seniors and outplayed a lot of his younger teammates.
    btw, i had a lot of autographs, but i had to wait in the gym until almost everyone was gone before Louie even came out. but i had too much time invested in him to let him get away from me now. so i waited and when he came out of the locker room, i buttonholed him and told him all about the games on WHAS and how he was still my favorite all-time Colonel and then asked him very nicely for his autograph.
    the man never cracked a smile or moved one way or another, and you could tell he wanted nothing more than to get away from this fanatic, but he did give me his autograph, and i still have my program and his autograph, lo,these 24 years later. and mine is the hand that shook the hand of Louie Dampier that day, a man who showed as well as anyone that age does not define heart.
  • And you are very windy.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

J.R. Smith promises to be better person, player after suspension

The importance of the Clippers' bench against the Spurs

Trading up for QB in first round is a risky proposition

Madison Bumgarner rips Max Scherzer over thoughts on DH

Hamilton: Angels knew what the risks were with signing me

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

MLB could move Orioles’ home games to another city

Kyle Lowry isn't exactly endorsing coach Dwayne Casey

J.R. Smith suspended two games for hitting Jae Crowder

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Kevin Love not expected to be available next series

Titans have reportedly been 'all over' Marcus Mariota

Tampa restaurant offers Jameis Winston free crab legs

J.J. Watt writes note for fan to get out of work for charity event

Orioles VP reacts to Baltimore protests with passionate tweets

Should the Warriors be worried about extended rest?

WATCH: Paul Pierce bangs glass at Capitals-Islanders Game 7

Jon Jones turns himself into police, facing felony charge

Report: Brady was at stadium day of White House visit

Arkansas has leather belt to commemorate Texas Bowl win

John Angelos, Orioles got it right with Freddie Gray protest

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

Mark Cuban and the inevitable playoff peril of the Mavs

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
RUMORS & GOSSIP

J.R. Smith promises to be better person, player after suspension

The NBA announced on Monday that Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has been suspended two games for swinging his arm and hitting Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder in the face on Sunday. After the punishment was handed down, Smith took to Instagram and vowed to improve as a player and a person. “Not the player...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
55 minutes ago

The importance of the Clippers' bench against the Spurs

The general manager version of Doc Rivers has taken a heaping helping of heat for the fashion in which he constructed the 2014-’15 Los Angeles Clippers. After all, if you just shout out the name of a random Eastern Conference starter during the aughts, chances are GM Doc signed him for guaranteed money. He also surrendered a first round pick to give up on Jared Dudley, and gave...
Via Crossover Chronicles
3 hours ago

Trading up for QB in first round is a risky proposition

Since 2000, there have not been very many successful trades in the NFL draft that have landed a team with a first-round quality quarterback. Sadly, the list of teams who have traded up for quarterback busts far outnumber those who have found franchise signal callers. Between 2000 and 2014, 15 trades  have occurred with one team moving up for a quarterback. However, there have...
Via Sportsnaut
5 hours ago

Madison Bumgarner rips Max Scherzer over thoughts on DH

San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner rejected the notion forwarded by Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer that the National League would be far better off following the American League’s lead and employing the designated hitter rule. Scherzer’s comments suggesting the implementation of the DH in the National League came on the heels of St. Louis...Read More The post...
Via Sportress of Blogitude
2 hours ago

Hamilton: Angels knew what the risks were with signing me

Before the Los Angeles Angels decided to eat $68 million to basically give Josh Hamilton back to his old team, owner Arte Moreno explored ways to void the 33-year-old’s contract. To the surprise of no one, the MLB Players Association fought Moreno and won. An arbitrator ruled that the Angels could not punish Hamilton for...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
3 hours ago

MLB could move Orioles’ home games to another city

MLB may decide to move the Baltimore Orioles’ scheduled home games to another city amid safety concerns in Baltimore due to rioting. Protesters demonstrating Saturday in response to the death of Freddie Gray tried to get the Orioles-Red Sox game canceled. Fans attending the game were locked in Camden Yards after the game until things...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
12 hours ago

Kyle Lowry isn't exactly endorsing coach Dwayne Casey

The Toronto Raptors are trying to recover from a stunningly swift exit from the playoffs, and point guard Kyle Lowry voiced some frustrations at his exit interview with the media Monday. The Raptors won the Atlantic Division with a 49-33 record during the regular season and were seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference. Still, they...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
16 hours ago

J.R. Smith suspended two games for hitting Jae Crowder

As if the day following the Cavaliers finishing the sweep over the Boston Celtics could not get any worse, the NBA has announced that JR Smith has been suspended two games. This coming after the news that Kevin Love will miss the entire upcoming Eastern Conference Semifinal series with a dislocated shoulder. During Sunday’s game and after an already very physical couple of quarters...
Via Waiting For Next Year
16 hours ago

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

The 2015 basketball recruiting cycle is almost over, but we’ve seen a ton of shuffling over the last few weeks at the top of the various team rankings. The latest update at the top come with five-star forward Brandon Ingram’s commitment to Mike Krzyzewski and Duke. In 247Sports’ composite team rankings, Ingram’s commitment has pushed the Blue Devils up seven spots into first...
Via College Spun
17 hours ago

Kevin Love not expected to be available next series

In what could be a major blow to the Cleveland Cavaliers title hopes, power forward Kevin Love will reportedly be unavailable when his team takes on either the Chicago Bulls or Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Love, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in Cleveland’s series-clinching Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics, apparently won’t be ready to go at any...
Via Sportsnaut
17 hours ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.