POST 50

40 Years On The Court (VIDEO)

12/14/2011 02:17 pm ET

Here's one strategy for active aging: A group of men in New York City has maintained a weekly pick-up basketball game in the same Greenwich Village gymnasium for 40 years.

The men - aged 30 to 71, though most fall towards the later end of the spectrum - tailor their work and social schedules around the Tuesday night games, including vacations and work trips. As Bob Ganz, 65, explains in a recent New York Times article: "If you go to your doctor and he says you can't play, you find another doctor."

Throughout the years, countless players have cycled through, but the traditions have endured: First team to score 7 points wins; The old guys always play first, on the same team; And evenings always include dinner after the game.

Legendary coach Phil Jackson - then playing for the New York Knicks - was a semi-regular participant during the 1970s and some of the players recall him staying for post-dinner pinochle games that could last until 4 a.m.

71-year-old Bob Gold, a retired lawyer and the group's most senior member, tells the New York Times: "We used to put the four-worst guys on Phil's team, but even then, you never told him the score, because if he knew he was losing, he'd turn back into a professional."

The pace of the games has slowed down since then, but the enthusiasm that the players share towards their weekly gatherings shows no signs of wavering. As Gold puts it to CBS: "Forty years and no end in sight."

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS