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

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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

Athletics deal Josh Donaldson to Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Mavs' Aminu knocks padding off backboard with dunk

What if the Chargers refused to trade Eli Manning?

Why is there a red seat hanging in the Mall of America?

WATCH: Mickey Rourke TKO’d a man half his age in Moscow

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Five bold predictions for Week 13 in the NFL

Brady Quinn pens 'note' to Jets quarterback Geno Smith

Bills center Eric Wood gained 7.4 pounds at Thanksgiving

Cubs reliever somehow OK after being involved in awful accident

Seahawks players throw shade at 49ers after victory

Five takeaways from NFL's Thanksgiving Day action

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.
RUMORS & GOSSIP

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has reportedly been reinstated to the National Football League after winning his appeal of an indefinite suspension levied against him by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The two-day appeal hearing took place earlier in November, and it took a fair amount of time for former U.S. district judge Barbara Jones to reach her decision. Ray...
Via Sportsnaut
9 hours ago

Athletics deal Josh Donaldson to Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie

So, Jeff Samardzija isn’t going anywhere — tonight, at least — but the A’s are still making big moves. Per Ken Rosenthal: Sources: Donaldson going to #BlueJays. Lawrie, RHP Kendall Graveman among those going to #Athletics. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 29, 2014 This is kind of a fascinating challenge trade. Josh Donaldson and Brett […]
Via Fangraphs
2 hours ago

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Ohio governor John Kasich has decreed that all CFP Committee members are officially honorary Ohioans.
Via Gamedayr
11 hours ago

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Lance Stephenson has a very large personality. The Charlotte Hornets knew that when they signed him, but are they still having issues with the 24-year-old shooting guard? After benching Stephenson for the fourth quarter in consecutive games, Hornets coach Steve Clifford said Stephenson is “not a star” and that he believes the former second-round pick...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
11 hours ago

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys ran into a buzz saw on Thanksgiving day. The Philadelphia Eagles were clicking on every cylinder, especially on defense. The Cowboys were dominated 33-10 because the Eagles dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. A few days after shredding the Giants, Romo was harassed into an 18-29 passing performance for 199 yards. Romo was...
Via BlackSportsOnline
12 hours ago

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Thursday that the Seahawks’ willingness to give QB Russell Wilson a new long-term contract will depend in large part on how the 2014 season plays out. According to Florio, if Wilson is able to get back to the Super Bowl, there’s a very good chance that he’ll get a new contract. Otherwise, Seattle is reportedly inclined to wait...
Via NFL Trade Rumors
14 hours ago

Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

SMU has been through one of the toughest seasons in school history this year. After head coach June Jones resigned early in the season, SMU has been a punching bag for every team they have played.   Since Jones resigned, many coaches have been linked to SMU but it  seems that the finally got their coach. According to Chip Brown of Horns Digest, SMU has hired Clemson offensive...
Via No Guts, No Glory
13 hours ago

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said some members of the Philadelphia Eagles threw cheap shots at him during Thursday’s game. Bryant, who caught just four passes for 75 yards and failed to find the end zone for the first time in over a month, got into several minor confrontations with Eagles defensive backs. He...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
13 hours ago

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

We've all heard of heart-stopping saves by hockey goalies. Well how about a heart-saving one?That's what happened when a amateur Canadian hockey league netminder rushed into the stands to perform CPR on a man who collapsed struggling for breath minutes before the Gander Flyers took to the rink in Gander, Newfoundland. Wearing skates, hockey pants and one shin pad, 26-year...
Via The Other Paper
15 hours ago

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

            San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York took to Twitter in the last moments of his team’s 19-3 loss to the rival Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. Thank you #49ersfaithful for coming out strong tonight. This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that — Jed York (@JedYork) November 28, 2014   York watched as the 49ers offense...
Via Sports-Glory
14 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.