Shoot your shot in Suffolk’s 40+ basketball league

Published 9:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Shane Johnson hopes to give older Suffolk men a shot on the basketball court. 

Organizer of Suffolk 3-on-3, a basketball league aimed at men aged 40 and up, Johnson hopes the league will fill a void for older Suffolk men who still want to show their basketball skills while staying fit and healthy. Partnering with the Suffolk YMCA, the league has seen sponsorship by Bethlehem Christian Church, Bouncin’ Buddies Party Inflatables, Mike Duman Auto Sales and Jungle Jamz Play Cafe.

Johnson talked about the inspiration behind the league. Johnson says that during the past four years, he has met and played basketball with older men three days a week, ranging in age from 40 to 66.

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“We even got a guy that’s 66 years old that plays with us, his name is Emanuel Myrick, he’s a pastor in the city of Suffolk. One day, we were bouncing ideas around about how we could get something organized or if there were any leagues we could play in for older guys because as we get older, it’s not as easy playing ball with the young guys, running with 20-year-olds when you’re 40 and up,” Johnson said.

Johnson says that he looked up every Hampton Roads city to see if there was a 40+ basketball league. He couldn’t find anything. This saw Johnson take the initiative to do it himself. After reaching out to various gyms, he says Suffolk YMCA was on board with the idea. Likewise, Johnson has referees involved as well as helping to get trophies and banners made for the program. Johnson says the program will offer 3-on-3 half-court basketball games with teams consisting of five players per team: three starters and two subs. He hopes the program will positively impact players.

“Really, just getting the community active and encouraging them to get out and do some things for their health physically, also for their mental health to have the camaraderie with their friends and just be around some like-minded guys,” Johnson said.

Along with four games per night, Johnson says that people can come and watch the game by checking in at the Suffolk YMCA front desk. Likewise, Johnson reflected on the “amazing” response that he’s received from residents.

“I’ve got a lot of guys who are not quite 40 that were dying to play, and I had to keep it [strictly] 40 and up, because I wanted to be by the book and I wanted to run it right,” he said. “So even though they couldn’t play, some of them stepped up to volunteer to help us keep score and work the gym and work The Games and stuff. But everyone I’ve talked to about it thought it was a great idea and they all viewed it as a community service as far as getting the older guys active.”

Suffolk 3-on-3 will start at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17, at the Suffolk YMCA and will play for 10 weeks on Monday nights. For more information or to volunteer, contact Shane Johnson at