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Pick-up basketball available at the YMCA of the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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RHINELANDER - If you're looking for a great way to be active indoors, then pick-up basketball may be perfect for you.

Friendly and competitive pick-up basketball games can be found at the YMCA of the Northwoods.

"We play this pick-up basketball, or open basketball, from 8:30 to 9:30 generally, on Tuesdays and Fridays, and anybody is welcome to come play," says basketball player Jim Lentz.

Open games were started back in 2009, and they have grown in popularity ever since.

"It was just a few guys that got together and ended up creating the open basketball on their own," says YMCA of the Northwoods Interim CEO Laurie Schlitt. "They all were off of work at that time or retired, and wanted to just get together. It was just the great social experiment, I guess you could say, and it ended up being an activity that they all enjoy doing together."

The same core players have been around since the pick-up games started, and they have welcomed in new recruits.

The teams are generally made up of older players, but are open to players of all ages.

"Most of us are 70 and older," says Lentz. "Like I'm 73, one guy is 75. The young people have a lot of fun playing with us."

But the way they play their games hasn't changed.

"We play, generally it's 3-on-3, but if we get 8 people, we'll go cross-court, and we'll play cross-court," says Lentz. "We play games to 11, one point at a time, and you call your own fouls, and your own out of bounds. Just for fun, that's generally what we're here for. Just for fun."

And they're always looking for more people to come and play with them.
"We take boys, girls, women," says Lentz. "Anybody that will come and play, we'll let them play."

"You'll see the guys come and just play," says Schlitt. "Some of them are very competitive and some of them are very open. So if you have some skill and you want to come shoot some hoops with the guys, then come on in."

Story By: Dan Marz

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