Senior ladies basketball team shows 'Granny's still got game'

(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)

CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - If you get the opportunity to see the "Red Foxes" senior ladies basketball team play a game, you might be expecting to witness around 40 sweet, little old women shuffling around on the court.

You would be wrong to expect that. Because these ladies don't shuffle, and they play to win.

"We try to get out there and butt in some and get some shots in there," said 75-year-old Tessie Dillingham.

Dillingham shoots 3-pointers like they're pieces of cake.

The Red Foxes were formed about 20 years ago when a group of women were watching their husbands play basketball in Catawba County and decided they could do the same.

The team now sports about 40 women ranging in ages from 50 to 82. They're made up of women from five different counties around Hickory, and they compete in local, state, and national tournaments as a part of the Unifour Senior Games.

This year, some of the age groups hope to make it to the National Senior Games. One group already has a shoe in for the spot.

While they play to win, they also enjoy the comradery of being with other ladies their age and the fellowship that comes with the competition.

"I really think the friendship and the love is the best part of it. We're just like one big family playing ball together," said 79-year-old Jean Glass.

Glass didn't even pick up the sport until she was 69. Now, she enjoys playing on the same team as her daughter, Karen.

At 82, the woman with the distinction of being the oldest is Rachel Church.

"We play the best we can. After that, it doesn't matter. Everybody cheers everybody," Church said.

If you ever do get the honor of watching these women play ball together, you won't be disappointed. You'll see a strong group of ladies working hard to stay in shape, and loving every minute of it.

For more information on the Red Foxes, you can contact Lauren Towson at

The only requirement is that you must be 50-years-old to play.

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