|Brian Rice of Geneva College|
Brian Rice, a forty three-year old Navy veteran, has yet to wake up. He is playing NCAA Division III basketball at Geneva College, a sister school of my own institution, Messiah College. Read his story at ESPN. Here is a taste:
Brian Rice was a child of the '80s, a high school senior when Ronald Reagan was president, Ice-T was hot and people still didn't know if Michael Jordan would ever win an NBA championship.
When Rice graduated in June of 1987, he thought about playing college basketball. As a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, he'd averaged about 15 points and six rebounds a game at New Castle (Pa.) High, so he was sure he could probably play at a small school somewhere.
Yet Rice knew he wasn't ready for college.
"I knew I needed to get some more discipline," he says.
So Rice put college aside and joined the Navy. College and basketball could wait. He had time. What's four years to an 18-year-old?
Four years, however, turned into 24½, and by the time Chief Petty Officer Rice left the Navy on Jan. 31, 2012, he was a couple of laps past 40, an age when most hoopsters spend their days remembering their jump shots, not hoisting new ones.
Rice, however, knew he could still play.
And, after enrolling at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., last February and then trying out for the team this fall, Rice not only earned a roster spot as a 43-year-old freshman, but has earned the respect of his coach and teammates.
Not to take away from a great story, but Geneva's basketball team is currently 1-15. Sorry to mention this, Eric Miller.
HT: Greg Jones