Playing Forever: The Izmir Veteran Basketball Team

WALL – A group of friends who came together in Izmir about 15 years ago founded a veteran basketball team. The players of the Izmir Veteran Basketball Team, whose youngest members are 65 years old and the oldest members are 71 years old, come together every week and train regularly.


According to DHA, Izmir Veteran Basketball Team Captain Nazmi Pars stated that they wanted to show that sports can be done at all ages, and that they played matches with teams from abroad because there was no rival team in Turkey with which they could play. Explaining that he has been playing basketball since the age of 15, Pars said, “I started playing basketball at the age of 15 in Izmir Demirspor, then I played in the Karşıyaka team and then in the Göztepe team. We started with this team with the basketball tournament held in Bergama in 2012. We have come this far. There is no one else like us in Turkey. There is no team over the age of 60. Sometimes we try to form a team with friends from various regions such as Bursa and Bodrum and play with them. However, it is generally not suitable for our age groups. Also, there are teams from abroad. “We are playing,” he said.


Stating that there are tournaments in Marmaris and that they will play with the Serbian team, Pars said, “Generally, these are comfortable, fun matches. Our aim is to show that this sport can be done at this age, rather than to win. Despite our age, it is very important to be able to go to that match with a referee and a whistle, to play and to taste that pleasure again.” I think I will play until I die. When we played in the European Championship in 2015, we played as the only Turkish team. We liked it very much. We also took a child with Down syndrome with us to the match. “We wanted that child to experience that pleasure at the world championship, we took him to the field for 3 minutes. This was perhaps the best thing we did in our lives. He said, ‘You gave me the greatest pleasure in my life,'” he said.


Ali Hekimoğlu (71), the other oldest member of the team, said: “Our love for basketball is great. We make efforts to continue this branch of sports. I started with the basketball team of the Middle East Technical University in 1968. Then I moved to DS sports. In 1970. I came to Izmir in the 1990s and after playing for Izmir Demirspor and Çayırlıbahçe for a while, I actually took a break from basketball because of my age, because I thought some things would be difficult, but then we came together with our friends here and continued playing basketball. “Our goal is not to get old, but to get older. We have been with this team for about 15 years.”


2024-05-27 09:24:27
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