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These women hit 50. Then they took up basketball.

courtesy of Port Townsend Drizzle
The Port Townsend Drizzle play the LA Sparks in 2018

 This story originally aired on Dec. 1, 2018. 

For three years running, from 2015 to 2017, the Port Townsend Drizzle took home the gold medal in the over-50 women's division at the Washington State Senior Games.

It's an impressive feat for a group of women without much basketball experience. It would be even more impressive if they'd had anyone to play against.

While the men's teams were competing against each other and battling for the championship, the Drizzle would play against themselves, 3-on-3. The Drizzle were the best women's team at the games because they were the only women's team at the games. 

The team decided they needed a little more competition. So they posted a "personal ad" on YouTube, seeking other women to play against.

It was more than wanting healthy competition. Though they started up just to have some fun, the 11 members of the Drizzle found they got a lot out of taking up something new later in life. And they wanted to encourage others to do the same.

Credit courtesy of Port Townsend Drizzle
Sound Effect's Jennifer Wing poses for a team photo with the Port Townsend Drizzle

The call to arms was answered, and at the 2018 games the women had half a dozen teams to compete against.

They didn't win the gold that year, but there were other benefits. It was nice to have someone to play with. And besides, says coach Kristi Wilson, being an amateur can be healthy.

Wilson is one of the few with a good deal of basketball experience, but being part of the Drizzle has encouraged her to try out other things she's not as familiar with, like skiing. Wilson isn't great at it yet — she was nursing a shoulder injury at a recent game — but she says she'd rather be trying and failing than sticking with what's comfortable. 

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.