Saturday, November 15, 2008

YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO MAKE A FREE THROW

In 1956, a 21-year-old basketball player at Lees Junior College in Kentucky named Ken Mink was kicked off the team after he was accused of covering his coach's office in shaving cream. Mink then left school and joined the Air Force, but he always regretted that he never finished playing college hoops. Now, at age 73, he's getting back in the game:

Mink says he was shooting baskets in his driveway when it occurred to him that it wasn't too late to finish up his college basketball eligibility. "I had been knocking down shot after shot, so when I came in the house I told my wife, 'I've still got it,' " said Mink, a 73-year-old semi-retired journalist. "She said, 'You've got what?' I said, 'I can still play.' "

Fast forward to a recent game when Mink scored two points in Roane State Community College's 93-42 victory over King College's junior varsity.

Mink entered the game with about 16 minutes left in the second half and attempted one shot in about three minutes. Seven minutes later, he went back in the game, was fouled and made two free throws.

"I found myself on the free-throw line 52 years after my last college game," Mink said. "I said, 'Just relax and shoot it like you know how to all day long.' I just floated the shots in there. I'm in the books now. I can relax a little bit."

(Photo from AP Photo by Owen Driskill)


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