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The Fabulous 70s

81-year-old senior league basketball player invites doubters to come ‘see us play’

By Kyle Jones on March 3, 2017

Judy Barton, the oldest member of a Raleigh, North Carolina basketball team called the Fabulous 70s, is a true student of the game. In a short documentary made by filmmaker Katina Parker, Barton said she’s been playing basketball since 1949 — in the senior games alone, Barton added, she has already played competitively for more than 20 years.

“We range in age from 75 to 81, and I’m the oldest,” Barton said in the film. “Of the original five gals that played the first game on our team, three of us are still actively playing.”

Even when times were at their toughest, Barton added, her love for the game remained undiminished.

“I played when I had breast cancer,” she recalled. “And I had just gone through chemo.”

Rather than normal five-on-five basketball, the Fabulous 70s play three-on-three — a style of play that Barton said leads to faster, more strenuous games where everybody must be capable of playing each position on the court. And while Barton acknowledged encountering people who questioned whether she should be playing sports at her age, she said that a brief time watching her on the court would convince them.

“They can’t believe that we can be athletes at our age. Especially women, you know, unless they see us play,” said Barton. “Once they see us play, then they change their attitude.”

Watch the film below. You’ll see that these ladies most definitely should be playing the game.


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