Granny Basketball Helps Raise Money for Charity
JEFFERSON CITY - On Saturday, the Grannies and Pastors played their annual exhibition against each other to raise money for the Common Ground Community Building organization.
Pastors from Jefferson City parishes came together to form a team and compete against the Granny Basketball teams. The exhibition featured a six-on-six basketball game, with a twist; the pastors had to wear oven mitts while playing the game. While Common Ground Coordinator Kristen Kilty was happy to raise money for charity, she said she was looking forward to watching everyone play even more.
"Oh, I'm just looking forward to watching the pastors play, it's really funny," Kilty said. "A lot of these men and women, they don't pick up a basketball very often, so this'll be really fun to watch."
Missouri's Granny Basketball League started in 2010 as a way to provide physical activity for women of an older age, and has brought women together who otherwise never would have met.
"Granny Basketball is just a fun way of ladies who wouldn't normally get together, never had kids together, growing up, we have all different ages, from 50 to 70, we have some widows, we all have family and grandchildren and love to show pictures of them," said Marylin Rickard, a member of the Capitol Chicks. "It's just a group of ladies I wouldn't have ever known if it wasn't for Granny Basketball."
The game was played under 1923 rules: there is no running or jumping, and players have two dribbles before they have to pass or shoot the ball. The structure of the game also follows 1923 rules, where there are six players on the court for each team, and the court is divided into three sections. Two forwards are in the section where their team is trying to score, centers are in the middle section of the court and guards are in the section protecting their basket.
Granny Basketball uses 1923 rules not only as a way of providing a safe playing atmosphere, but to pay tribute to women's basketball in the 1920's. The uniforms hearken to that era, as white blouses are worn with neckerchiefs, black bloomers, and knee-high stockings. There are three Missouri teams; the Capitol Chicks, the Shooting Stars and the Passing Fancies. Since the uniforms are all the same, the teams differentiate from each other with their stockings. Capitol Chicks wear red and blue striped socks, the Shooting Stars wear yellow socks and the Passing Fancies wear green stockings.
The exhibition, played at Lincoln University, raised more than $4,000 for Common Ground Community Building, and organization that raises money for people who need help making ends meet. The game itself ended in a tie, a fitting end to a night of fun and community support.