By David Volz

Arthur Harreld has a passion for basketball. At age 68, he still loves the game and has played it most of his life. He is participating in the National Masters Basketball Championship now taking place at Coral Springs Gymnasium. He is from Owensboro, Kentucky. “I love basketball and I want to stay active. We came down from Kentucky. This is a great tournament,” he said.

Rick Petino, the basketball coach of Louisville University is playing the tournament. He played with Reggie Theus, who played in the NBA is now the basketball coach at Cal State Northridge. They are playing in the 55 and over division.

Most of the players in the championship are experienced athletes. They may not be as fast as younger athletes but you can see they are skilled and experienced. They have a real passion for the game and many played high school and college basketball. Some have played professional basketball.

“This is tournament is for players from 40 and up,” said Steve Nelson, the leader of the tournament. “We have 38 teams in this tournament.”

There are teams from Kansas City, Texas, Seattle, Alaska, New York, Atlanta and other states from the around the nation. “These are men who love basketball and have a passion for the game. They want to stay active and they want to stay in shape. They are very competitive players,” said Nelson.