Basketball helps keep Venice man young

- At 65 years old, Venice's Rus Rusbosin can't be stolen away from the court.

"I can't give it up," he said. "I am so enthralled by the game of basketball."

He's been playing since he was a young boy. Even a brief hiatus after college wouldn't keep him away for long. He has coached, but more than anything else, Rusbosin wants to be in the middle of the action.

"I do like to put the ball up," laughed Rusbosin.

So, 17 years ago, when he saw an article in his native Hamilton, Ohio newspaper showcasing the National Senior Games, Rusbosin knew he had to find a way into the huddle again.

"I looked at this picture, didn't know any of them, and I thought, 'Dang! I wonder if I'm going to be able to do this,'" said Rusbosin.

Ever since, he's been shooting hoops in the biennial event for those 50 years of age or older. He's been to every Senior Games since 2002, except for one, when Rusbosin was diagnosed with AFib, or an irregular heartbeat.

"I'm 100 percent now, except for my arthritis," said Rusbosin. "I sometimes get ailments in my feet."

And he stays on his feet through stretching and exercising every day.

"You have to definitely do core-building exercises so that your knees are ready to play the game of basketball, which requires a lot of movement and juking and jumping," he continued.

His collection of medals prove that he's still got it.  But it's what he gets out the games that keeps Rusbosin coming back.

"That's why I love the Senior Games," he explained. "The Senior Olympics is more than just a competition; it's the relationships and the connections that you develop with your opponents, with the other teams throughout the entire tournament."

The Senior Games will take place June 2-15 in Birmingham, Alabama.

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