Rock Island resident Glenda Cantrell is off to Florida to compete in the National Senior Games.
The 80-year-old started playing basketball when she was in grammar school at Irving College and she’s never stopped.
Cantrell continues to play every Tuesday at a Baptist Church in Cookeville.
“There are four of us so we play 2-on-2 on Tuesdays,” said Cantrell.
The four ladies are on a team called Age Defyers. They competed in the Tennessee Senior Games in Brentwood last June and came away with the gold medal. Games are halfcourt and are 3-on-3. The team flies out Saturday for Florida.
“I hope we can win it,” said Cantrell. “But you never know what to expect with a bunch of old women.”
Cantrell said the key to her longevity on the basketball court is she never stopped.
“I played all the way through graduation and kept going after that,” said Cantrell. “I play anytime I can, as long as I can find someone to play with. I’ve always just kept on playing. It’s what keeps me going. Exercise helps so much to keep you happy and healthy. If everyone would keep exercising, I think it would really help.”
When she’s not playing basketball Cantrell likes to watch it too. She’s a huge Lady Vols fan and recently won a UT basketball during a trip to the Pigeon Forge area. She played a festival-type game and made six shots to win the basketball, she says.
McMinnville resident Lester Cowell is another local senior star who had plans to compete in the National Senior Games in Florida. Lester, who plays tennis, was going to drive to Florida with both his sons, but had to cancel his plans at the last minute due to a recent fall at his house that has left him scratched up.