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Oakdale basketball girls, Granny hoops to face off
Granny basket pix
Oakdale seniors and Lady Mustang varsity basketball players Savannah McBroom, Grace Miller, Brooke Wheat and Alyssa Ferguson-Rice will take on the challenge of “coach” on Saturday, Feb. 10 when the girls basketball program plays against the Columbia Gold Diggers Granny basketball squad. Leader Photo By Jeff Kettering

Members of the Oakdale High School girls basketball program are up for a little non-traditional fun on the court come Saturday, Feb. 10 at high noon.

For the first of what may become many matches, the OHS Lady Mustangs will take on the Columbia Gold Diggers Granny Basketball team.

“I thought it would be something fun for the girls,” varsity girls basketball Coach Kelly Nasrawi said.

According to the coach, she was first approached by Barb Trammell who reached out via the team website.

The interest in coming to Oakdale, Trammell shared, is to introduce the community to the 1920’s women’s basketball style as well as benefit the Oakdale Stangs Basketball Booster Club. Entry fee for the event will be $2 per person and will be donated to the Booster Club.

The Gold Diggers also hope through the showcase they may be able to recruit some additional talent for their team and perhaps start an Oakdale Granny Team.

Yet there will be a learning curve for the OHS Girls Basketball Program before any of those future plans may happen. According to Nasrawi, along with OHS seniors Grace Miller and Brooke Wheat, Granny Basketball has its own set of rules and guidelines.

“They’re playing by the 1920’s basketball rules, is how these grannies play,” Nasrawi shared.

Further noting the team uniforms are also modified from what we are used to in 2024, to reflect the 1920’s period. Bloomers, middy blouses and long stockings, as well as the full court split into identifiable thirds are a few of the things which will be different for spectators.

While the OHS girls won’t be altering their traditional uniforms, they will adapt to the game rules shared by the Grannies. This will include no running or jumping and each team will have two players in each third of the court.

“I don’t know how we’re supposed to not run,” Miller said of the new guidelines.

Both she and Wheat expressed being nervous at understanding the rules versus playing a traditional game.

That initial nervousness may have shifted a bit last week, as Miller and Wheat along with fellow team seniors Savannah McBroom and Alyssa Ferguson-Rice learned that they will be coaching their team in the Granny game.

“It’s my understanding that I’m not allowed to be there at all,” Nasrawi shared of CIF rules and non-league games outside of another high school. “I have adults who will be there for adult supervision, but I’m going to have my seniors coach it.”

In addition to the adult supervision from the OHS Team, the Grannies will send players of their team on the DL to sit with the high school team and help with the guidelines.

“We offer our skill to any organization that agrees to play a friendly game against us,” Trammell said, “but we specifically targeted Oakdale because one of our players, MariAnne Bloom graduated from Oakdale High School in 1964. We were also impressed with Oakdale’s enthusiastic, friendly people.”

The Oakdale High basketball girls are both excited and a bit nervous at the challenge of taking on the Columbia Gold Diggers Team.

“We thought it was going to just be like regular basketball,” Wheat said, before learning of the modified rules. “We were scared we were going to hurt them.”

With the timing of the event being the initial weekend of Oakdale schools being out for a week, Coach Nasrawi decided to open the game up to the entire girls basketball program instead of the varsity team only.

“I’m really trying to build a positive culture here, with my program doing other things,” Nasrawi stated. “We do community service. We do other stuff that hopefully makes this a fun experience for these girls in high school and that’s really what I saw. Another positive, fun experience to bring them together.”

In the case of this event, the “other” things are not lost on these players. While they may be a bit nervous, they are also excited.

“I’m excited for the three pointers because they’re granny shots,” Miller said. “You get three points if you shoot under hand.”

The no snatching of the ball away will be the hardest rule for Miller and Wheat said she remains a bit unsure of how the game will be played with no running.

“I think we’ll be good together, because we have that same mindset of what do we need to do in order to win,” Miller said of the senior coaching staff.

“I think we’ll be good coaches,” Wheat confirmed.

The Granny Basketball League is a 501(c)3 non-profit. The Columbia Gold Diggers was first established in 2022 when Trammell and her husband relocated to the area. They have played a number of schools, volunteer groups and even CalFire.

“With the help of our opponents, we’ve been able to donate thousands of dollars to schools and various charities, including Tuolumne County Blue Zone, Grandma’s House and the Maui Disaster Recovery Fund,” Trammell concluded.