Guys like Ray Carroll continue to prove that age is just a number.
Carroll, 83, recently traveled to places like Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as overseas to Finland, to compete in the Senior Olympics and Senior World Championships for basketball.
Carroll, along with his teammates that hail from all throughout the East Coast, took home first place in each event.
The team, which includes players from Rhode Island, Georgia, North Carolina, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, has been largely the same since the 2009 Senior Olympics, when it won its first-ever gold medal. The Senior Olympics take place every other year at various locations throughout the country, and the club has received medals in all but one tournament since its first victory a decade ago.
Carroll and his crew have enjoyed their success to this point, and are continuing to raise the bar at each passing event. Winning is no longer a pipe dream, and instead, an expectation each time they hit the court.
“It is exciting to win. I am slower than I used to be but I can shoot like a demon. Our team got better as the tournament went along. We expect to win every time. Back then when we first started, we thought, who knows? But now, we expect to win every tournament that we are in,” said Carroll.
The next Senior Olympics will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2021. The team plans on returning much, if not all, of the same roster as this past year’s, and like always, it aims to finish atop the podium once again.
“You kind of have to take these tournaments one at a time when you are 83, but I am planning on being there in Fort Lauderdale in 2021, believe me,” said Carroll. “We are planning on sending our entire starting lineup back and we feel that we have a chance to win it again.”
Until then, the group will continue to compete at the local courts at CCRI and URI, where they have been playing every Sunday for over 20 years.
Although the goal is always to have fun, winning is still a top priority … regardless of age.
“We are competitive, it’s a great atmosphere,” said Carroll. “We are lucky to have the same guys each time and we also have new guys that ask to play with us as well. That’s what’s good about when you win, people want to join you.”