Lifelong friends support others on the court

13 December 2023

Nineteen years ago, Eugene and Ernie met as new Y buddies, united by their love for basketball. Fast forward to today, at the ripe ages of 76 and 82—they're still in the game, inspiring us all.

These two members didn't stop at playing ball. They organized a 55+ basketball group at the Y that has changed the game for players of all ages and beliefs. When we recently spoke with them, they shared that playing basketball with the group keeps them healthy and that their doctors tell them, "Keep doing what you're doing."

It's not just about baskets and points. Before every game, the group huddles up to share words of encouragement and a quick prayer, giving their game an extra dose of heart. Through all the ups and downs, Eugene and Ernie have created a tight-knit family that's there for each other no matter what life throws their way. Their support has kept the group going and growing.

Now more than 40 players strong, when Eugene, Ernie and their Y friends meet, they're not just shooting hoops; they're continuing a legacy of friendship, resilience and the joy that comes with a bunch of folks chasing a bouncing ball. As they keep inspiring more people to join, this group isn’t  just playing — they're sharing a story of connection, laughter and the kind of joy that never gets old.