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The six-player Huntsville Bama Boys, which featured former James Clemens head basketball coach Danny Petty, No. 33, placed ninth at the National Senior Games held in Albuquerque, NM. Photo Contributed

Comradery A Plus At National Senior Games

ALBUQUERQUE, NM- The Huntsville-Madison based six-player Huntsville Bama Boys basketball team recently competed in the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, NM where the former the gold and silver medal winning squad placed ninth in the 2019 event.

“We played everyone close, but we messed up in pool play and didn’t play as well as we hoped for in that portion of the tournament,” said Danny Petty, the recent retired head basketball coach at James Clemens and one of the original members of the team. “We also had some injuries that played a part in our efforts.”

The squad finished tied for first place in pool play posting a 3-1 record in four games, but was seeded second after using a point differential tie-breaker system within the tournament. Once in the Gold Bracket of the 60-over age division, the team defeated a team from Rhode Island, then lost the next two games versus Texas and North Carolina. The team from Texas, called the Ball Hawgs, ended up placing third overall in the national competition.

“We had our usual bumps and bruises and David (King) didn’t play much due to an injury,” said Petty, who admitted his physical condition was not up to par and that played a part in his own performances in the tournament. “Chris (Jones), another one of our players, suffered a freak injury when he arrived at the airport and the taxi driver accidently shut the trunk on one of Chris’ fingers. Chris did play, but that certainly affected his play.”

The squad was made up of Petty, 68, King, 64, Jones, 67, Snyder Washington, 67, Ricky Allen, 64, and Ricky Bowling, 65. All have been good friends for many years with Petty and King’s friendship dating back to 1974 where they played on local recreational teams.

Albuquerque, the most populous city in the state of New Mexico with a population of over a half-million, has an elevation of 5,352 feet and the change in locales compared to Huntsville’s 600 feet elevation was certainly a factor for the Huntsville Bama Boys. Petty added, “We just didn’t get used to the elevation and I could certainly tell a difference. Overall, the city was nice and we had a good time visiting the area. Besides, that was the main reason for playing in the tournament as for us it was just another nice vacation.”

The 2021 National Senior Games will be held in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Petty said the team will try and recruit some players and make plans to attend. As for this year’s event, Petty added, “Just being with the guys was a great experience and it was well worth attending and making the trip.”

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