go to MSN.com
Originally written 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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

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

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Just like last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates found themselves playing in the NL Wild Card game. This time, the San Francisco Giants were in their way. On the mound, Pittsburgh sent out Edinson Volquez, while San Francisco went with their ace, Madison Bumgarner. Both starters were dealing through three innings, until the top of the fourth. Volquez got himself into a bases loaded...

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Well it seems the alleged perpetrator in the Gloria Allred press conference from last week has been named. According to the New York Daily News, Dallas Cowboys special team ace C.J. Spillman is currently being investigated for a sexual assault. The alleged attack occurred at the team’s hotel on Sept. 20.  Spillman, was then allowed to play the next day. The attack allegedly came...
Via Thacover2
8 hours ago

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

The New England Patriots apparently benched wide receiver Aaron Dobson for two games for mouthing off to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. The report comes from Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe and indicates that Dobson was benched solely for his verbal actions directed at McDaniels. on Dobson: source says he "mouthed off" to Josh McDaniels, leading to his...
Via Sportsnaut
9 hours ago

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

If you are a sports reporter, calling out the universally popular Jose Bautista is probably not the way to make many friends.  Or any friends.  Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun decided against conventional wisdom to poke at the Blue Jays All-Star RF with regard to trade deadline comments.  Bautista put him in his place quickly: .@simmonssteve who are you and why are you talking...
Via Reading Between The Seams
9 hours ago

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

When the Buffalo Bills announced that veteran journeyman Kyle Orton would replace second-year quarterback EJ Manuel in the starting lineup for their Week 5 outing against the Detroit Lions, some were thrown for a loop by the decision. After all, Manuel is still a young quarterback with upside while Orton had just recently quit on the Dallas Cowboys over the summer. But it appears...
Via Sportsnaut
13 hours ago

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

Some NFL players don’t partake in fantasy football and don’t want to hear about how they have to play better because YOUR team is suffering because of it. Some NFL players, like 49ers receiver Stevie Johnson, enjoy their work fantasy league so that they can harass YOU on Twitter. And some play fantasy football, draft themselves and then sit themselves on the bench. Like Giants...
Via The Sideline
13 hours ago

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

If you expected Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon to lay low while he serves his suspension, you would have been wrong. In an interview with ESPN the Magazine, Gordon made some… interesting statements. First of all he claims that he hasn’t smoked marijuana since entering the NFL: Josh Gordon was assigned a horse to bond with in rehab. "It's definitely some...
Via cover32 - Browns
14 hours ago

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

In case you haven’t realized, Steve Smith has some issues with the way his 13-year Carolina Panthers career came to an end. On Wednesday, Smith responded a recent report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that indicated the Panthers decided to cut Smith because they were afraid he would be “divisive” in the locker room as […]
Via Larry Brown Sports
15 hours ago

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

TweetBoston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo suffered a broken hand before training camp that is supposed to have him sidelined up to 8 weeks, but Rondo is hopeful he can return in time for the Celtics season opener in about a month. “Hopefully I won’t miss any games this year,” Rondo said in an interview with CSNNE’s Mike Gorman. “Lord willing I heal correctly...
Via Los That Sports Blog
16 hours ago

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Jon Gruden is the most high-profile name linked to the Oakland Raiders in the wake of the team’s decision to fire head coach Dennis Allen. If Gruden has any interest in the vacancy, he is keeping it to himself. During a chat with “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on Wednesday, Gruden joked that he […]
Via Larry Brown Sports
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.