Senior Olympians play at USM's Payne Center


HATTIESBURG, Miss. - To a lot of athletes, ballin' can be a habit, and some guys still have that habit, despite their age.

Senior Olympian, Billy Folkes said, "We recruit to get people to come out and play with us. We have a great time. When I'm playing ball, I want to win for sure. But overall, it's just here for the exercise and the comradeship."

Folkes said he started coordinating basketball games in 1978 when he worked for USM, and it's been competitive ever since.

"There's one guy here that has an eye put out when we were playing in Arkansas. We've had hips replaced. We've had two knees replaced and that sort of thing," said Folkes.

Majority of the men who play are between the ages of 75-89., and compete in the National Senior Olympics, which is also currently known as the Senior Games.

Senior Olympian, Wayne Williams said, "To me, it's very rewarding. It keeps you fit, keeps you involved. I just enjoy it tremendously. Age has not been a factor for most."

Senior Olympian, “Stwle” Pounders said, "I got the gold in Pascagoula in basketball for over 75. Of course I'm 89. I got the gold in a little box displayed at home. I have a number of awards upstairs on the board, probably 80-100."

Some of the guys said they love watching Steph Curry play and they attempt to model their game after him.

"It's just something in our blood I guess. I'm going to do it until I can't do it anymore," said Williams.

You can catch these guys hoopin' every Tuesday and Thursday at USM’s Payne Center at 11 a.m.

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