I’m in a rather unique position. As an African American in central Europe I was raised with a saxophone and basketball aesthetic but now live in an accordion and soccer world. Mostly this wouldn’t matter but with a son reaching the age of sporting life passion, I’m missing out ‘cause I don’t know a thing about Füssball. Sport was a big part of my youth and remains a big part of my culture. Although I had abandoned basketball by the age of 19 it has deeply influenced me. I’d like to be able to share some of this with my 9 year old.
I stopped paying attention to both amateur and professional basketball in the mid 1980’s so I missed most of Magic’s career and practically all of Michael Jordan’s not to mention the 1990’s and 2000’s. Even Lebron James had reached the back end of his career before I re-awakened my interest in the sport. So this makes looking at this new, small ball-pull-up-and- shoot-a-three, game so interesting.
Basketball is not a big deal over here. Hardly anyone plays on the few outside courts that exist. And to play inside you have to join a club because there are no school teams. But for someone like me who’s been away so long that represents a wonderful opportunity to rediscover basketball from the ground up. Rather than playing all winter you have to train for the summer black top game. Working on your handles outside all winter though possible is not a going to be a task for the faint at heart.
Starting at zero for a 55 year old is a beautiful, worthy challenge. Personally I’m more inclined to focus on developing the strength and skill to play again rather than the actual competition itself. Such a project aligns quite well with what many of my clients have to do in relation to their own mental and physical fitness. They have to set goals and develop a reasonable plan for attaining them and above all they have to avoid injury if they want to progress gracefully into their old age.
How do you approach the game of basketball as an aid to longevity? How do you awaken the Drew with? I personally will start with strengthening my core and legs in particular. Winter days inside are particularly suited to crunches and squats, since a gym is not available. Why not join me as I lay a base for the more basketball specific stuff later on. And I’ll enjoy following my first NBA season in 30 years.