In the age of the WNBA and a dominating USA women’s basketball team, it is hard to imagine a time before Title IX when seeing women in shorts was borderline scandalous and female athletes had no chance of a career after high school. However, for the women of the Fabulous 70s, a senior women’s basketball team, gender discrimination isn’t simply a chapter in history. It is a memorable part of their lives that has continued to shape their individual stories even well into their 70s.
Luckily, the passage of time didn’t stop any of them from pursuing a basketball after high school. It may have taken 30+ years, but they are back in the game and competing on a national level. Their stories are chronicled in a new documentary Granny’s Got Game, which was produced and directed by Angela Gorsica Alford.
All of the women featured face physical challenges, but that doesn’t seem to squash their competitive spirit. Breast cancer, heart problems, and post-polio syndrome don’t prevent the players from making practices and attending state tournaments.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this film. Perhaps most immediately evident is the joy that these women get from playing a sport they love. Despite their aches and pains and even more serious conditions, they stay active and you can’t ignore the positive impact that exercise has on their lives.
Viewers also get an up close look at the importance of friendship and what it means to belong to something bigger than yourself even if it is just a basketball team. Our social connections add meaning and purpose to our lives and even the smallest circle of friends can be a vital source of support. These lessons are important for everyone, but especially for seniors who are more susceptible to succumbing to a sedentary lifestyle and isolation.
If you want to learn more about Granny’s Got Game and the six fabulous stars, you can visit the film’s website and be sure to look at upcoming screenings in your area. You might even consider hosting your own screening.
Amy M. Blitchok is a professional writer and researcher who specializes in issues relating to seniors, aging in place and mobility technology. She works to disseminate important information that will help everyone live a longer healthier life and age comfortably and gracefully. Currently, she writes for AmeriGlide.com and contributes to several major industry related blogs and websites.