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

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

Report: Rex Ryan has already cleaned out his office

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

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

Report: Rex Ryan has already cleaned out his office

  Rex Ryan’s tenure with New York Jets could be over shortly, and apparently no one knows this more than Rex Ryan.   The Jets’ head coach has cleaned out his office at the team’s headquarters and New York is actively looking for replacements for both Ryan and general manager John Idzik, two sources told NJ.com late Friday night. Ryan was expected to be on the hot...
Via NESN.com
32 minutes ago

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Clint Trickett has retired from football and will miss West Virginia’s bowl game against Texas A&M after failing to pass concussions tests prior to the game. Trickett, a senior quarterback from Tallahassee, says he suffered five concussions over 14 months, including two he said he hid from trainers. “In fairness to our training staff, they...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
16 hours ago

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

A season that has been defined by surprising all-around team play and marred by injuries to multiple major contributors will pretty much end that way for the Arizona Cardinals. Regardless of whether Bruce Arians’ squad continues to surprise the NFL world in the playoffs, it appears that Ryan Lindley will be under center for the duration. Drew Stanton, who was called on to replace...
Via Sportsnaut
17 hours ago

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has played in 15 Christmas Day games during the course of his 18-year career in the NBA. But he sat out for the second consecutive game in the team’s Thursday evening matchup against the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers lost that game, 113-93. But on Tuesday night, in the first game Kobe sat out due to “rest and overall soreness,” the Lakers knocked...
Via The Sports Daily
18 hours ago

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Undrafted rookie quarterback Connor Shaw reportedly agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on Friday and likely will start Sunday’s season finale in Baltimore. Reports indicate the contract will be a multi-year deal. Shaw, 23, played collegiately at the University of South Carolina. He appeared in the Aug. 18 preseason game for the Browns against the Washington football team...
Via Waiting For Next Year
21 hours ago

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith suffered an injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. He was able to finish the game and actually showed up to practice in the days following the game. But sometime in between Smith’s last practice on Wednesday and Friday, the Pro Bowl quarterback was diagnosed with a lacerated spleen and has been ruled out of the team’s all...
Via Sportsnaut
21 hours ago

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

It’s only right that three days after Christmas, the New England Patriots will get to play with their shiny new quarterback. Since Sunday’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills means nothing to the New England Patriots  — they’ve already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC — keeping their starters in the game for all four quarters seems like a ticking time bomb for injuries...
Via NESN.com
22 hours ago

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

BOSTON — Lionel Hollins knows greatness when he sees it. The Brooklyn Nets bench boss has coached Kevin Garnett for just a few short months, but he could not praise the veteran big man enough when speaking with reporters Friday morning. “I’m honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to coach Kevin,” Hollins said before the Nets’ matchup with Garnett’s former...
Via NESN.com
22 hours ago

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

Have you ever wondered what advice Curt Schilling would give to Johnny Manziel? No? Well, now we know anyway. The former Red Sox pitcher reached out unsolicited to Manziel on Twitter to give the Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback a bit of a Christmas gift. Some sage advice, if you will — at 1 o’clock on Christmas morning. @JManziel2 Didn't ask for it, but I'll throw it out...
Via NESN.com
22 hours ago

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Mel Gray returned a fourth quarter punt 78 yards for a touchdown. Erik Kramer completed two touchdown passes to Robert Clark. The year was 1991, and the eventual NFC Central winning Detroit Lions held off Mike Tomczak and the Green Bay Packers 21-17 at Lambeau Field. Since that fateful December afternoon in Green Bay, the Packers have won 23 consecutive home games against Detroit...
Via Sportsnaut
1 day 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.