Ron Beals just broke my ankles while I sat in this office chair
This may be old news to some of you, but I recently learned about the amazing Ron Beals. Ron fits into a category of baller found across the nation – the ‘old-heads’ as they’re called on my local playground. Some of you may refer to these type of players as ‘gramps’ or some other derogatory senior-citizen term. These are the aging men find playing basketball is their favorite form of exercise. Whether their former collegiate athletes or they’ve just love playing the game for fun, these fellows are a tricky bunch who will surprise you if you aren’t careful. But this old-head isn’t typical by any means. Ron Beals still tears it up on the courts of Venice Beach at the age of 78. That is unbelievable and inspiring, especially to those who hope to play into their twilight.
You may recognize this picture. He’s somewhat of a celebrity. In fact, he made an appearance in the go-to movie for all aging ball players, White Men Can’t Jump. And don’t forget this Converse commercial. The courts at Venice Beach are famous themselves. Its one of the most notorious outdoor courts where anyone can come get schooled by the local talent, or basically the Rucker Park of the West Coast. Ron, known to most as a pure shooter, played for Loyola in Chicago and Boise for college, eventually landing a gig with the traveling Harlem Clowns. He rides his bike to the courts from Santa Monica daily, is a vegetarian, and has a degree in photography. To call Beals a ‘jack of all trades’ would be an understatement. This past year he coached a team in the Venice league. I’ve never seen him play, but like most ‘old-heads’, he probably got a deceptively good jumpshot, a mystery reserve energy tank, and a collection of sweatbands that’ll make Jackie Moon jealous . Sounds like a great man to me.
Which raises the question…are there any aging former Cats still playing out there?
Where is Louie Dampier? Does Kenny Walker stop by your local church league and sky to the heavens on some fools? Can Kyle Macy be found in a neighborhood playground making it rain from the swingset? Have you seen Rex Chapman wearing a neon tank top with a boombox blasting Prince on his shoulder? What Orlando gym does Goose Givens handout ass-kickings with left-handed jumpers?
We need answers people. Research and report back with your stories of former Kentucky players who can give Ron Beals a run for his movie.
Meanwhile, in Louisville…(NSFW language)