Celadrin Tigerette basketball proving age is just a number


by Daniel Gotera / KHOU 11 Sports


Posted on June 19, 2011 at 11:27 PM

HOUSTON - An old saying reads, "No one can avoid aging, however aging productively…now that’s something else."

The Celadrin Tigerette basketball team has proven that to be the case.

"If you keep your mind and your body active, you’re going to stay active and young," said point guard Wanda Blailock.

The team is made up of six women, each ranging in age from 60-75. All of them are playing a game they’ve loved since they were little girls.

"I just can’t explain the thrill to people, we are just like teenagers," said guard Mavis Albin. "We are just as excited as if we were 16 years old, it’s awesome."

But the Tigerettes don’t just play for fun. They want to win a lot and their 188-5 record and 6 gold medals are pretty good proof of that.

"(People) don’t believe it," said Blailock. "Not only do they not believe it, they don’t realize the depth of basketball that we’re talking about."

"I think I feel as good as a lot of 50 year olds," said Albin.

And it’s that mindset that is helping these self proclaimed "basketball grandmas" stay focused, no matter what people may think.

"When somebody asks me and I tell them we play basketball; they look at you different," said guard Nikki Leader. "It’s like an admiration and I do feel pride."

"I’ve just gotten to the point where I say, yeah that’s who I am and that’s what I do," said post player Mark Bendsen. "I really don’t worry about other people’s reactions because I’ve accepted myself as that’s who I am."

"We want to be a model for other people and say, ‘You don’t have sit in a rocking chair like my grandmother’," said Leader. "I don’t want to do that. I want to be out there showing other women you can do that too."

The Celadrin Tigerettes are the only corporately sponsored team at this week’s Senior Olympics in Houston.

Celadrin, which helps with joint pain, can be found at Central Market and other stores around the area.