Shockers to host active age readers at Koch Arena

You’re invited to attend a Wichita State University women’s basketball game as guests of the Shockers and the active age.

The Jan. 19 game at Koch Arena pits WSU against Temple, an American Athletic Conference foe. 

Anyone 55 and older will get in to the game free. Door prizes will be given to the first 250 seniors in attendance. Parking is available outside the arena.

“We’re really excited about it,” coach Keitha Adams said. “It’s an opportunity for them to have a ‘night out on the town,’ to have some fun. One thing I would like to say to them is that we have a lot of mature fans who love watching women’s basketball, so if they haven’t watched a college women’s basketball game before live, I think they’re going to be in for a treat.”

Despite being one of the youngest teams in the nation, the Shockers were off to a 5-4 start through mid December, including an upset of the University of Oklahoma.

Adams is an Oxford, Kan. native and graduate of Southwestern College. She coached at Belle Plaine, Winfield and Independence Community College before spending 16 years at the University of Texas El Paso, leaving as the school’s all-time win leader. This is her third full season at WSU.

One hoops fan who will be attending is Wanda Groves. “I’m a dyed-in-the-wool fan,” Groves, who turns 98 this month, said. “I rarely miss a game.”

A former teacher, Groves coached junior high school basketball in Medicine Lodge when girls’ basketball was first being played in Kansas. Groves said she was attracted to the sport “because it was the first game-type situation that girls were allowed to be in. And I got in on the ground floor and got to organize.”

“The men’s coaches were really kind,” she recalled. “They came in, observed and gave me pointers.”

When Groves and her husband moved to Wichita after retirement, she became a regular  at Shocker women’s games. She appreciates the fact that women “tend to play more as a team, and not as an individual.” But there’s one more reason she doesn’t attend Shocker men’s games. “It’s too loud, too noisy.”

Groves, who now lives at Dove Estates in Goddard, likes what’s seen from this year’s Shockers women’s team.

“I think they’re a good solid team. There’s no flashy people. You’ve gotta play five on five and they play a basketball game without any stars.”

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