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

First 'National Fantasy Football Convention' to star Tony Romo

Sam Dekker scores career high after Aaron Rodgers' challenge

Brey Day: Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight after a vintage performance

Ronda Rousey on having kids: 'I'm an ovarian goldmine'

Pedro Martinez: Rose should be allowed in Hall of Fame

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pablo Sandoval 'cut things off at the root' with Giants

Scott Boras taking shots at Cubs' history over Kris Bryant

Kingdome debt finally paid off 15 years after demolition

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

Former MLBer Curt Ford assaulted, told to ‘go back to Ferguson’

Russell Westbrook was very ‘confused’ by media after loss

Teams that don't deserve to win Connor McDavid Sweepstakes

How a basketball-themed art exhibit changed perceptions

Bucs admit they’ve been getting calls about Mike Glennon

The last Expo standing

NHL ships nets which have room for cameras inside posts

Toronto Raptors limping into the playoffs

Best picks ever at every spot in first round of NFL Draft

Alonzo Mourning confirms “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

CC Sabathia attempting to get healthier by getting … fatter?

You can bid on Andrew McCutchen’s recently cut locks

Is Chuck Pagano receiving the Jim Harbaugh treatment?

Wideouts wearing out their welcome

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

First 'National Fantasy Football Convention' to star Tony Romo

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo not only plays NFL football, but he must have a knack for fantasy football. It is being reported that the signal caller is heading up the first-ever “National Fantasy Football Convention.” This looks to be a star-studded event that headlines players such as Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, Julio Jones, Rob Gronkowski and DeMarco Murray. Speaking...
Via Sportsnaut
1 hour ago

Sam Dekker scores career high after Aaron Rodgers' challenge

Credit Aaron Rodgers with an assist in Wisconsin’s 79-72 win over North Carolina in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The star of the game was Badgers junior forward Sam Dekker, who posted a career-high 23 points and added 10 rebounds in the victory. He also helped solidify the win by making...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
1 hour ago

Brey Day: Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight after a vintage performance

Did you know that Mike Brey has been coaching at Notre Dame since Y2K? Yes, since the year 2000, the Coach K protege has led the Fighting Irish from the bench. That’s a long time for any coach, and it’s a long time to go without an Elite Eight appearance. Forget Elite Eights for a moment, though — Notre Dame will finally get to play a regional final under Mike Brey on Saturday...
Via The Student Section
2 hours ago

Ronda Rousey on having kids: 'I'm an ovarian goldmine'

Ronda Rousey may be intensely focused on her MMA career at this stage in her life, but the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion insists she can envision a time in the future when she’ll want to have children. In fact, Rousey jokingly suggested during a wide-ranging interview that she might be doing humanity a great disservice...Read More The post Ronda Rousey on wanting to have...
Via Sportress of Blogitude
2 hours ago

Pedro Martinez: Rose should be allowed in Hall of Fame

Pedro Martinez will be enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. He’d like for Charlie Hustle to join him in Cooperstown.   Martinez, who was just hired as an analyst for MLB Network, said Wednesday he thinks Pete Rose should be allowed into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rose, of course, has been banned from Major League Baseball since 1989 for betting on games. ...
Via NESN.com
3 hours ago

Pablo Sandoval 'cut things off at the root' with Giants

      This embed is invalid   " /> Pablo Sandoval isn’t big on living in the past.   Sandoval recently said leaving the San Francisco Giants to sign with the Boston Red Sox in free agency over the offseason wasn’t a difficult decision, which created plenty of buzz given his successful, and seemingly amicable, tenure in the Bay Area. The third baseman...
Via NESN.com
4 hours ago

Scott Boras taking shots at Cubs' history over Kris Bryant

The battle over Kris Bryant’s service time clock, which hasn’t even started yet, was just taken in a bit of a personal direction by Bryant’s agent, Scott Boras. While speaking with Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Boras dragged out the Cubs’ history of losing as a reason to bring him up for Opening Day. “The opiate of player control cannot supersede the greater importance...
Via The Outside Corner
6 hours ago

Kingdome debt finally paid off 15 years after demolition

It only took a scant 39 years — and exactly 15 years after its demolition — but the Kingdome, the hideous mound of concrete where CenturyLink Field stands today, has finally been paid off. 15 years after the Kingdome implosion, KC Budget Director Dwight Dively tells me the debt is, today, FINALLY paid off http://t.co/3eWYfqdCXx Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
Via Next Impulse Sports
6 hours ago

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

The Jonathan Martin experiment has officially come to an end with the San Francisco 49ers. The team announced on Thursday that it has waived the controversial former second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins. Acquired from Miami last offseason for a conditional seventh-round pick following the entire Richie Incognito bullying scandal, Martin played a somewhat important role for...
Via Sportsnaut
7 hours ago

Former MLBer Curt Ford assaulted, told to ‘go back to Ferguson’

Former Cardinals outfielder Curt Ford was allegedly the victim of a race-related attack in St. Louis earlier this week. On Thursday, Ford told Christine Byers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he is considering moving away from the St. Louis area after a man yelled racial slurs at him and punched him at a gas...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
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.