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Thursday, October 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Area sports

Group of 72-year-old players on Swinging Doors Hoopfest team plan to ‘to keep playing until we can’t’

Swinging Doors team members, from left, Jon Heimbinger, Terry Nealy, Tedd Nealy and Mike Etter pose after their second game at Hoopfest on Saturday, June 29, 2019, in Spokane, Wash. (Justin Reed / SR)
Swinging Doors team members, from left, Jon Heimbinger, Terry Nealy, Tedd Nealy and Mike Etter pose after their second game at Hoopfest on Saturday, June 29, 2019, in Spokane, Wash. (Justin Reed / SR)
By Justin Reed The Spokesman-Review

With a combined 288 years between them, team Swinging Doors is one of the oldest – if not the oldest – teams in Hoopfest history. Led by Jon Heimbigner, the four men are playing in their first Hoopfest as a squad.

Heimbigner had to force Terry Nealy, Tedd Nealy and Mike Etter to come out of their Hoopfest retirements. They love basketball, but Hoopfest is a different animal as the asphalt causes more fatigue in their legs than normal hardwood.

“We better win or I am not going to have three friends after this,” Heimbigner said.

While this is their first Hoopfest together, it isn’t the first time the four have played 3-on-3 on the same team. The annual Washington State Senior Games in Olympia has seen the four Spokane-area natives win back-to-back titles in the 70+ division.

Swinging Doors went 1-2 on Saturday and was eliminated.

All four are 72 and have played basketball their entire lives. They stay in shape by continuing to play.

“We’re going to keep playing until we can’t,” Terry Nealy said.

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