By Kathie Scanlon
“We laugh a lot and get a great workout!” says Ivy Meeropol who organized the women’s basketball night at Philipstown Recreation that started on June 17. Meeropol says she had talked about a women’s basketball night for years and recently approached Amber Stickle, director of Philipstown Recreation, who agreed to give it a try from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays.
During this first start-up month, those attending have a range of experience from none at all to Haldane Lady Blue Devil alumni to former college players. While the women weren’t asked to share their ages, it appeared that the range of the players was 30 to 50s on this evening.
The women play hard but not competitively; everyone cheered for each basket made. On average to date, games have been 3-on-3 or 4-on-4. The participants are hopeful more will join for full teams with players on the bench to substitute.
Unbeknownst to the players, the press showed up this past Tuesday (July 8). The women were welcoming and disappointed that this reporter was present as a member of the press and not as a player.
“Go change into your sneakers” was the friendly comment regarding my magenta flip-flops.
My top concerns/excuses to not play were all quickly negated:
- “It will be too hot.” For this 80-degree day in July, the gym was remarkably cool — which is not to say the players did not work up a sweat, but isn’t that the point of exercise?
- “I was frequently the last kid picked for a P.E. class team.” Who seeks out THAT experience voluntarily? The women chose teams by dividing up as free throws were made. The last women still at the line were just randomly assigned.
- “It will be too competitive and the real players will be frustrated by my athletic incompetence.” The most experienced players were often the ones with the biggest smiles on their faces. “Thank you” and “Sorry” were tossed around as often as the ball.
Christine Johanson explained why she has shown up on all four Tuesday nights: “It’s a good cardio workout without watching the clock and it beats the treadmill.”
So much fun, all for the low cost of $3 per night for residents and $5 for non-residents. Pay at the door; no pre-registration required. Both basketball nights are held at the Community Center Gym, located on Route 9D in Garrison.
Photo by K. Scanlon