After a slow start to the season, my Friday Night summer basketball league team played hard and cruised to a 57-47 (or something like that) win tonight. It was our second win in a row and we are 2-2 overall with 3 games left to go.
As the season winds down though, one can't help to think that an era will soon end. We had 12 guys officially on the roster and 9 guys over the age of 30. I have a history of playing with all of the guys. However, it is the older guys with whom I played with the most. We've gone through some ups, downs and all arounds through the years.
Two of the guys played in our first game, got injured and are out for the season. One guy missed the first game, played the next two games but was recovering from injury. He recently declared himself out of the season as well. Another guy is coming off of shoulder surgery. While he is otherwise relatively healthy, the constant banging takes a toll on his body.
Interestingly enough, we have a guy that is ALMOST 49 and can still play well. He's slowed down a bit recently but even a few years ago, he was moving around pretty darn well. The reason why he is playing is he stopped for a long time. He got back into the game two or three years ago and he is trying to make up for lost time.
For the rest of us 30 somethings, it's not really any injuries that are holding us back. It's the fact that we feel we're a step slow. We don't quite move as fast or jump as high as we used to. It's a lot tougher to recover after playing basketball.
For me, I actually feel quite good. I had my share of injuries in the early 2000's. It took a little while to heal physically but even longer to get over the injuries mentally. However, I did get over it and I feel I've played at a pretty good level since 2007.
I'm in pretty good shape and can get up and down the court. But banging around the basket with the 20 somethings in our league is tough. Also, I realize I just do not move all that well laterally anymore. I used to love the opportunity to guard young guys. Well, the young guys have been having a field day lately when I guard them. I was never the greatest of defenders when I was young and definitely not a great one-on-one defender now when I am older.
There is some talk that once this summer season ends, a few of the guys made ride off into the sunset. They are not going to stop playing basketball. However, the days of running and competing in league ball may be over for some guys.
Personally, I'll still be playing as I enjoy playing and the social aspects of the game. Yes, it is getting harder to play against young guys, but fortunately, I have options to remain playing even as I get ready to hit my 40's next year.