go to MSN.com
Found December 06, 2012 on Larry Brown Sports:

Via Larry Brown Sports:

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 they 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 backup 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.

Photo via Geneva.edu

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.
THE BACKYARD
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!

RUMORS & GOSSIP

Report: Impact Wrestling cancelled by Spike TV

Via IMPACT WRESTLING The death knell that’s seemingly been sounding for years is finally real for TNA Impact wrestling. As reported by TMZ, Spike TV contacted Impact TNA President Dixie Carter late last week to inform her of their decision. From my own personal sources, Spike TV executives have been reviewing the product for at least the last few months as the renewal date for...
Via With Leather
18 hours ago

WATCH: MMA fighter working at gas station beats up robbers

The robbers thought they had a good plan. Wait until one of the employees from the gas station came back from the bank and jump him before he knew what hit him. One small problem though, they didn’t take into account another employee happening to be a mix martial arts fighter. Best part of the video is after the big man of the robbers’ crew is beaten down, his boy thinks about...
Via BlackSportsOnline
7 hours ago

Astros players upset with Mark Appel's promotion

More than most sports, baseball is about “earning your spot.” Players have to work their way through four or five levels of the minors before getting their chance in the big leagues, and some guys wait close to 10 years before they get their shot. So it’s at least understandable when players get upset over a specific player getting the benefit of the doubt, or getting a promotion...
Via The Outside Corner
8 hours ago

WATCH: Andrelton Simmons' bare hand catch and throw

Atlanta Braves SS Andrelton Simmons has quickly rocketed to the top of defensive shortstops in only his second full season in the majors. And it’s not that he specializes in dives or plays to the hole, he does it all. Check out this amazing play from Monday’s afternoon tilt as he uses his bare hand to snag a tricky one-hop off the bat of San Diego Padres speedster Will Venable...
Via Reading Between The Seams
4 hours ago

Michael Jordan is 'cool' with Lebron wearing 23

Since Lebron James decided to wear the #23 this coming season I know there's only one thing on your mind: Is Michael Jordan cool with that. You passed on attending your best friend's wedding, opted against cashing in a free blimp ride voucher, and refused to respond to the concerned texts, calls and emails from your family because you couldn't possibly continue life before...
Via Celtics Life
5 hours ago

Report: Colts running back Chris Rainey cut after rules violation

Although no details are provided, what we do know is that Indianapolis Colts running back Chris Rainey, thought to have moved up on the depth chart following Vick Ballard's season-ending Achilles tendon injury, has been released following some sort of off-field incident. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Rainey violated team rules and was released today as a result.  The...
Via 60 Max Power O
8 hours ago

Jets’ Calvin Pace: ‘We’re the best’ defense in the NFL

They say confidence is contagious. For the New York Jets, it might be an epidemic. If you haven't kept up with Gang Green, here's a quick refresher: Rex Ryan affirmed he's a great coach; Geno Smith said he expects to be a top-five quarterback; Dee Milliner dubbed himself the league's best cornerback. And that was just in the last week. Not to be outdone, linebacker...
Via Helmet2Helmet
6 hours ago

Yankees fan returns lost Red Sox World Series ring to owner

Some Boston Red Sox fans might actually be convinced that there is such a thing as a good Yankees fan after a supporter of the Bronx Bombers recovered and returned a lost 2013 World Series ring to Lowell Spinners owner Drew Weber. Weber, who was dining at Luke’s Bar and Grill in Manhattan on Thursday night, left his ring in the bathroom of the restaurant where it was recovered...
Via NESN.com
9 hours ago

Report: Rice’s wife pleaded with Goodell for light punishment

Ray Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for his involvement in a domestic violence incident with his wife Janay Palmer at a casino over the winter. Given that the public was shown a video of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator and police reportedly had […]
Via Larry Brown Sports
9 hours ago

Report: Love may not choose to opt into contract with Cavs

While many continue to debate the merits of players involved in a deal for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, the great unknown continues to be how long Love would call Cleveland home. There are rumors that he’s demanding a trade to Cleveland and wants to play alongside LeBron James; Cleveland would be the only place he would commit to in the way of a long-term deal, starting...
Via Waiting For Next Year
9 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.