How old is too old to play college basketball?
Occasionally you read of the late-20 or 30-something who makes the team and is promptly saddled with the nickname "Grandpa." Then there is Ken Mink of Knoxville, who actually is old enough to be a grandfather -- 73 years old and a member of the Roane State (Tenn.) Community College basketball team.
Mink played about 10 minutes and scored two points -- on free throws -- in Roane State's 93-42 victory over King College's junior varsity Monday night.
"I found myself on the free-throw line 52 years after my last college game," Mink told the Associated Press. "I said, 'Just relax and shoot it like you know how to all day long.' I just floated the shots in there. I'm in the books now. I can relax a little bit."
At 73, Mink ought to be relaxing a lot.
Mink last played college basketball 52 years ago at Lees College in Jackson. Ky. He lost his spot on the team and was expelled after someone soaped the basketball coach's office. Mink still insists he didn't do it.
Last year, after shooting baskets at a neighbor's house, Mink wrote to several area colleges. Roane State Coach Randy Nesbit decided to give him a chance and Mink has practiced with the team since August.
Soap the coach's office? That's an indication of how old Mink is. That prank went out of fashion, when, in the 1950s?
Who is the oldest player to appear in an NBA game?
New James Gang?
The Detroit Pistons trading for Allen Iverson is big enough news on its own, but Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski advises Pistons' fans to "Think bigger. Think bolder. Think LeBron James, 2010."
Iverson and James are represented by Leon Rose and William Wesley. Expecting Iverson's salary to be off the Pistons' payroll after 2009, Wojnarowski writes that Pistons President Joe Dumars will have the salary cap space and roster nucleus to lure James to Detroit.
He writes: "As one rival GM said Monday, `Damn it, I am afraid Joe has this whole thing wired. He's got everything in place to pull this off.' "
Well, not quite everything. Last time we checked, Detroit is not New York nor Los Angeles.
From Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: "Can you believe Daunte Culpepper actually came out of retirement to try out for the Lions? Isn't that sort of like breaking back into prison?"
Nat Hickey was 46 when he played one game for the 1947-48 Providence Steamrollers.
Barack Obama made it clear during his "Monday Night Football" interview with Chris Berman when he said he favored the concept of a college football playoff. So he supports a system that elects Obama No. 1, but not the system that selects O'Bama No. 1.
-- Mike Penner
Photo: Ken Mink, 73, is guarded by teammate Camille Ngon during practice at the Roane State Community College gym in Harriman, Tenn. Credit: Saul Young / Knoxville News Sentinel / Associated Press Photo