Pickup USA Appeals to Aging Hoopsters, Like Me
Pickup USA offers one-hour basketball boot camps and officiated pickup games, like the one shown here.
After five-plus years at Franchise Times I have finally found the franchise for me: Pickup USA, which offers basketball-based boot camps for fitness and most notably organized, officiated pick-up basketball games for a monthly fee under 59 bucks. Are you kidding me?
Now, I’m 55, yet back in the day, in the Red River Valley Conference in Mayville-Portland, North Dakota, when I was 17, I was a fierce center of the old school: low post, great in the paint, very, very sharp elbows with a high rebound count and often fouling out in the late fourth quarter. (I was Red River Valley Conference MVP my senior year. That means most valuable player, I’m just saying. I won’t comment on how big the conference was.) Turns out, there isn’t a lot of clamor for those attributes after high school, when all the Division 1 players today are 6-foot-7 or taller. (I used to be tall back then, at 5 foot 11, but by today’s standards I’m a shrimp.)
Anyway, I love what Jordan Meinster, the founder of Pickup USA, is doing: He recognized that pickup basketball for grown-ups is intimidating, foul-mouthed (which I don't necessarily disagree with as I love trash-talking), and disorganized, so he started his franchise to let old people like me (and young people, too) participate in basketball. (And don’t even get me started about women players—if you think we’re going to go to the playground in the ‘hood to play some ball, we are definitely way, way too scared and the men are definitely way, way too ball-hoggish for that.) I’ve got a story about the new franchise in the next print edition of Franchise Times.
If only this franchise would come to Minneapolis, where I live. Picture me: rebounding, scoring, racing back and forth down the court. I had looked into playing with the Silver Foxes team via the local YWCA, reserved for women over 30, but learned that everyone on the team played Division 1 ball in college and also were very, very tall and very, very aggressive, so I was too intimidated.
So, I wait for a Pickup USA franchise to come to town, where I can shoot, score and unleash my 1.5-inch head-fake-plus-jump-shot on unsuspecting fellow players, a move I taught my son when he was age 8 and impressed, but by age 15 when he had grown to 6-foot-5 he scorned as not worthy by modern standards. My game is going to be epic, I can tell.