KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
January 10, 2024
By Natalie Cook Clark
Always hoop for a good time! The Granny Basketball League is now forming a Katy team. Players don’t need to know basketball, but just be willing to move and have fun with women over 50 (no maximum age.) Granny Basketball is a fitness social that also gives back to the community.
Photos courtesy Katy Granny Basketball Facebook page.
Movement, Fun, and Service
Granny Basketball League is a 501c3 organization aimed at promoting movement, fun, and service among women over fifty and they now have a team in Katy. The Katy team (name to come) is actively recruiting members and currently meets Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. at The Mark Chapman YMCA at 1350 Main Street.
Katy’s own, Kelly Thornton wanted to find a fun way to stay active. She is turning 52-years-old next week and has enjoyed playing basketball with her friend’s Granny Basketball team in Conroe. When she expressed interest in a Katy team, the Conroe team helped her “get the ball rolling!”
“This is a great activity for people who haven’t been in a regular exercise routine lately,” says Kelly. “You are certainly moving during the game, but there is no running or jumping. You’re walking and passing the ball and shooting baskets.”
Members stretch before practice, move around for about an hour, and then go home.
“I don’t consider myself to be athletic and I’m not particularly graceful or coordinated,” says Kelly. She did play basketball in junior high and part of high school but always was more interested in friends than being competitive.
Not Your Television Basketball
This isn’t the basketball you see played on TV and because the rules are different, Kelly says it’s often easier for ladies not familiar with the sport to adapt to the granny way of playing. The game is 6-on-6 play, but it feels more like 2-on-2 because each player on a team is either staying at one end of the court playing offense or defense, but not both, or in the middle.
The game is based on the basketball that women played in Iowa in the 1920s and it’s very specifically geared toward safety since some of the women playing are in their 90s! There is no running or jumping allowed in granny basketball.
The Katy Granny Basketball team will play games against the other Houston-area team, Conroe. Outside of playing Conroe, other games will be out of town but there is no travel requirement to join the Katy league.
According to the Granny Basketball website, there are currently 550 players in 10 states and the numbers are always growing. Teams take turns hosting tournaments and/or scrimmages in their home area.
No Travel Necessary
“I don’t want anyone who wants to play to think they have to go anywhere except to practice,” stresses Kelly. “You can even join the team planning only to participate in practice if you like.”
Like all of the Granny Basketball leagues, the Katy team will participate in volunteer opportunities and donate proceeds of ticket sales and other fundraising activities to the charity of their choice.
“I know the ladies who play in Conroe have formed lasting friendships and get together socially, too,” says Kelly, who wants the same for the Katy league.
“We want to create a team (or multiple teams, if we have enough ladies) and form a community of friends who play together and care for one another,” says Kelly.
Just give it a shot!