By Matthew Adams
A lawyer, a nurse, a Division I collegiate Hall of Famer from Eastern Michigan University, an intramural star from Michigan State University, a former University of Toledo player along with a crew of talented ladies ranging from 65 to 80+ all walk into a gym.
That’s not the start of a joke. The Michigan Spirits are no joke, and their competitors know they can ball!
It’s not about recognition or stats. Hailing from Flint, Michigan, the Spirits are not your average women’s 65+ basketball squad. They’re more of a family composed of passionate, educated women from all walks of life. They celebrate diversity and overcoming obstacles that nearly all women of their generation experienced.
Prior to the inception of Title IX, most female basketball players were forced to play under a different set of rules than their male counterparts, referred to as Division for Girls’ and Women’s Sports (DGWS). For example, they had to dribble three times before passing the ball. That was just one of many other rules that didn’t apply to the men.
As the team’s star forward and team spokesperson, Wondella Devers clearly states, “We play for the bond and the love of the game,” and when these courageous group of ladies hit the court, it couldn’t be more clear.