PUTNEY -- Rod Payne-Meyer has always enjoyed a quick game of pickup basketball with co-workers and friends, but as he got on in his years and as semi-retirement looms on the horizon, the Putney resident thought to himself one day last spring that maybe he should be playing with guys more his own age.
"Truthfully, I can hold my own against my co-workers on a half-court," said Payne-Meyer, who once ran the Putney rec league for students youth through middle school, and now owns and operates Creative Landscapes, a local design and landscaping company that employs a handful of laborers. "On a full-court though, I tend to struggle."
So Payne-Meyer began forming a small group to play pickup games last year, and with little promotion the event has slowly grown in popularity. This season’s first games were held on Monday.
The group has no official title or set teams, and almost anyone can play with the group, except for one important stipulation: you’ve got to be a male over 40 years of age.
"It’s pickup basketball for us older guys," said Payne-Meyer. "There’s a lot of us who show up who are over 40 or 50 who like to play but can’t compete with the younger guys since they are are so much quicker and full of energy. It makes us feel like we’ve lost touch and can’t play the game anymore. It’s all about playing with guys our own age."
Games are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Putney Central School, 182 Westminster Road.
The design of the Central School gym appealed to Payne-Meyer when he was organizing the pickup games. "There’s a full court and also two courts that go side-to-side to have two games going at the same time," he said. "It’s a nice gym and it works for now."