Basketball

Seniors hit the basketball court for West Virginia Senior Sports Classic

Men’s basketball took place on the third day of the 2021 West Virginia Senior Sports Classic Saturday at West Virginia State’s Walker Convocation Center in Institute.

Six teams with players from age 60 through 80 competed in the three-on-three halfcourt games, and some the seniors proved that age is just a number.

WVSSC Board President Harold Vealey is a member of the 80 West Virginia Generals. He said he’s happy to see things back to somewhat normal in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

“It’s a pleasure to see everyone here having a good time, playing basketball, getting off the couch and just thoroughly enjoy themselves,” he said.

Men’s basketball took place on the third day of the 2021 West Virginia Senior Sports Classic Saturday at West Virginia State’s Walker Convocation Center in Institute.

Six teams with players from age 60 through 80 competed in the three-on-three halfcourt games, and some the seniors proved that age is just a number.

WVSSC Board President Harold Vealey is a member of the 80 West Virginia Generals. He said he’s happy to see things back to somewhat normal in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

“It’s a pleasure to see everyone here having a good time, playing basketball, getting off the couch and just thoroughly enjoy themselves,” he said.

Griffith, Vealey and teammates Butch Nafe and Jim Cook all went to Stonewall Jackson in the 1950s and still play together to this day.

“The guys I play with, we went to the same high school. It’s great,” Vealey said. “To be able to play two time a week with the same guys — I see more of my buddies than I see of my own kids. After the games here we’re going to go out socially, have a few brews and just talk about how great we were in our day.”

Vealey has a claim to fame of his own, as he played high school ball against Jerry West when West played at East Bank in 1956.

“We played at Stonewall and we won. I had a great game, I had 25 [points],” Vealey said. “West was not guarding me. We [later] go to East Bank and since I was the high scorer [the last game], he’s guarding me and I’m guarding him. He gets 40 [points] and I get seven.”

The COVID pandemic slowed things down but didn’t stop the 80 West Virginia Generals from playing ball. During the pandemic, the team still practiced twice a week outdoors and with masks.

“We played outside a few times during the summer wearing masks, which was a real handicap,” Griffith said. “We kept in shape.”

Looking toward 2022, the 80 West Virginia Generals will travel to Fort Lauderedale, Florida, to compete in the National Senior Games.

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