Thursday, June 9, 2016

2016 Detroit Senior Games Report

Senior Games
Southfield, Michigan
Southfield & Lathrup High Schools

It's all over...It's a wrap...Close your test books, and step
away from your number two pencils...The grades are in...
and for some...Graduation is in jeopardy. 
      Congrats to all of the graduates across the world!

However, I will borrow from the educators, and politicians,
who have chanted..."No child left behind!"...I will chant,
"No Ballplayers left behind!" So before we review the
exam, please make sure you get, and read, "the book."
The book is called "Cal Dilworth's 3 Point Attack, and
it was written by Detroit's Finest, a Masters Sports Pioneer,
and an active ballplayer at 80+ years young.  Mr. Dilworth,
who is a world traveler, and mentor, is affectionately also
known as "The Captain".

 This is your study manual...Your final exam is on the b-ball court.

                   [L] Sugar Daddies Coach Santos Negron with Mr. Cal Dilworth

"Fundamentals are the very basis of
basketball.  Coaches have their philosophy,
but the fundamentals are the same."
                                                  Cal Dilworth [Page 6]

  Sugar Daddies Tony Greene & Wendell Ransom with the Captain

The 2016 Detroit Senior Games have concluded,
once again it was a star studded event, with concert,
dinner and basketball.  How could we go wrong?
As many of the senior, weekend warriors, have
traveled many miles home, we've had some time
to reflect on the goings on of the weekend.  We
will get to the point on several serious matters in
a moment.  I pray that all have travelled home
safely, and can now rest our bruised bodies, and
egos, till the next Master's Event.  So when, and
where, is the next Masters Basketball event taking
place? Somebody talk to me.

          Lahh with Chicago Masters player Derrick Sanders
                        from the Windy City Renegades


The fifty and over division was a competitive mix of 
talent from Indianapolis, Indiana, New York City, 
the Windy City of Chicago and of course Detroit.  
I don't have any excuses for our efforts in Detroit.  
I'm referring to the NYC Sugar Daddies 50+ Club.  
It takes a certain determination and strength to 
travel an excess of seven to eight hours on the road, 
and step out of a van and be competitive.  For the most 
part, I am proud of my Sugar Daddy Brothers and
Coaching Staff, the Legendary Santos Negron, and 
Johnny Pugh.  But for the life of me I cannot reconcile 
that we had major problems with a full court press from 
the local guys from Detroit.  They call themselves
Southfield Metro.  You've gotta be kidding me...
We fell for a full court press.  That will never happen
again.  They were quick, fast or whatever and they had 
difficulty dealing with us in a basic, slow down, half-
court set.  Actually they trailed us early in our first
game against, and I was surprised at their lack of 
patience on offense.
       But hey, I'm getting way ahead of myself. Our
first game was against our cross-country rivals from
Indianapolis...The Naptown Players, with player/coach
/hype-man Neal Thomas.  Neal is one of the coolest
dudes on the Master's scene and he always brings
a competitive mix of talent, height and experience.
Neal is a class act all the way around and he is the
Director of the "Showdown in Naptown" which is
penned in on the national Masters calendar for late
September 2016.
       The Sugar Daddies took an early lead with 
solid zone defense, and perimeter shooting by
Era Lacks, Wendell Ransom, and John Marques.
But after several minutes Naptown got it into
gear with shooting from Larry Johnson, Neal 
and Benny Minor.  They were hitting from all
over the place, two's, three's at a very high
percentage.  This Indy offensive attack was all 
orchestrated by the floor general himself, 
Dennis "D Nice" Thompson.  Thompson is a 
consistent Masters competitor, who quietly
plays much larger than his 5'8" frame...
Great ballplayer, great teammate, and person.

Coach Negron told us to be patient, and work for
the better shots...and they would come.
Naptown lead for the vast majority of the game,
until the last five minutes of the game when a
Dwight Smith, rebound and put back, and an Era 
"E-Man" Lacks' baseline bucket put the Sugar
Daddies ahead for the remainder of the game.

"Defensive rebounding is very necessary,
and could be the difference between
victory, and defeat."
                                                                  Cal Dilworth [Page 20]

To be continued...I'm just warming up...Congrats to
all participants, winners, and the 2016 Detroit Senior
Games Tournament Committee. 

Game results are as follows...

50 & Over Division

1st Place- Southfield Metro 50+ [Southfield, MI]

2nd Place-$ugar Daddies [New York City]
3rd Place-Windy City Renegades [Chicago, IL]
4th Place- Naptown Players [Indianapolis, IN]

55 & Over Division
    1st Place- Family Once Again [River Rouge, MI]

2nd Place-Bedford Auto Care [Canada]
3rd Place-Early Birds [Belleville, MI]
4th Place-Double Nickels [Chicago, IL]

Every year the Detroit Senior Games host an amazing,
entertainment extravaganza...Dinner & Concert right
here in Motown.  Earl Dixon, and his staff at the 
Detroit Senior Games, consistently deliver the goods
with a spectacular weekend combination of Entertainment
and Basketball.  This event is a testament to Mr. Dixon's
commitment to Masters basketball, and to the community
of Detroit and Southfield.  This event showcases many of 
Detroit's homegrown talent that has dazzled the world for 
decades.  Over the years we've seen "The Floaters", 
Carl Carlton, 'She's a Bad Mama Jama" and various home
grown artist, with tributes to "The Dells" and numerous
other stars who have lit up the American music skyline.

Junior Walker's All-Star Band at Detroit Senior Games Concert

This year was right on point with Junior Walker's All-Star
Band, and the silky smooth Dramatics.  The capacity
crowd was delighted by the comedy and singing of
of MC Spider who delivered side splitting one liners
before he sang his heart out. Spider's classic R & B
impersonations of many of the great, deceased, singers
from the 1960's & 70's just about stole the show...

  The Master of Ceremonies "Spider" a great Comedian/Singer.

He brought to life the silky voices of Sam Cooke, Otis
Reading, Chuck Jackson, Ben E. King to name a few.
The Dramatics, with full band behind them powered
their way through the evening, not as mobile on stage,
as they have been in the past.  However, they put on
a great performance, and have a great stage presence.
The performed "In the Rain", "What you see is what
you get".  This is a great event in a wonderful venue.

   The Dramatics Hold Center Stage at 2016 Detroit Senior Games

                Masters Legend James "Sky" Payne with Lahh Woods.

    Masters "Players" from Indiana, California, Detroit & New York. 

                    Lahh with the Wells Family of Detroit, MI.

Another competitive year at Detroit's Senior Games...
The competitive basketball bar has been set very high.

NYC’s Sugar Daddie’s Coach Negron had this to say, 
“I had a great time with the concert, the dinner, and the the team that won it [Southfield Metro 50+]
...they were good, and all that, but when we come back 
here next year we’re gonna bring our whole squad, and 
we’re gonna take this whole thing for Harlem and New 
York City.”
Teams traveled from near and far to compete, California,

Washington State, Illinois, NYC, Canada, Michigan, and
Indiana.  Many thought they were prepared, and found out
otherwise.  Great weekend and as they say, "We'll
Get Them Next Year!"


60 & Over Division

   1st Place- Who Dat Crew [Warren, MI]

2nd Place-Bedford Auto Care [Canada]
3rd Place-Morgan Stanley 60+ [Grosse Pointe, MI]
4th Place-Detroit Metro 60+ [Ferndale, MI]

65 & Over Division

  1st Place- Team USA 65 [St. Petersburg, FL]

2nd Place-New Regime 65+ [Wenachee, WA]
3rd Place- Indy Allison [Indianapolis, IN]
4th Place- London Huff-N-Puff 65+ [London, ON]

Image result for motown hitsville
Detroit Senior Games Website

        Everybody wants to be a winner.  Everybody is a winner.
Everybody cannot win every game.  To be a winner, some
say, you have to learn how to take a loss.  Don't be a
sore loser, and learn to win with class, and dignity.
These Masters Games have given us a new lease on
an old game, that we've played for many, many, years.

"Never underestimate your opponent.
Be prepared physically, and mentally."

                      Cal Dilworth [Page 16]

By the way, I don't see too many of you "old timers"
stretching!  Make sure you get to the gym early enough
to take care of business, before you take care of business.


There was something going on here this year in Detroit. 
I just can't put my finger on it.  This year was just a little
different from Detroit Masters Senior Games in the past. 
There was usually a buzz in the air from the time you hit
the hotel lobby until the last free throw was taken.  There
was always an upbeat cadence to the movements of the
afternoon, and evenings, that just seemed to be a bounce-
pass or two away.

The locations on the gyms haven't changed.  The host
hotel was certainly the usual five star experience,
however, the pool area access was indeed...under
renovation.  Maybe that's it.  We witnessed some kind
of renovation or growth of the established event.
Over the years there was always an abundance of
Detroit Senior Games staff committee members on
hand for any inquiry, concern or issue.  Organizationally,
the staff seems to have been reduced significantly. 
Where are my people at? 

What happened to that beautiful parade of warm, and
welcoming faces, that down home Detroit vibe with that, 
"How Yall Feellin Today?"  Look I'm a story teller...
Back in the old times, at Detroit Masters days, we
would sit around the camp fire, sippin mint ice tea in
one of the Penthouse Suites, until the sun came up...
justa tellin stories, recipes, and sharing
scriptures and proverbs.  Apparently, those days are
done.  That was a great feature of the tournament,
here in the city that is commonly called Motown.


Look I understand growth, and I understand each
of these Masters event committees across the nation
have to make the hard decisions to ensure the "success"
of their events...Personally, I call these Masters events
"Mid-Majors"...Including Masters Tournaments in
Indianapolis, IN, Burlington/Canada, Jacksonville, FL,
Detroit, MI, and what many claim to be numero uno
the "MBA" in Coral Springs, FL.  So now we also have
the upstart NYC Masters Basketball Xperience throwing
our hat into the arena.  We're the new kids on the block
in Masters organizing,  and we've been watching, and
learning what to do, and how to do it.

No Masters conversation would be complete without
mentioning the "Major Master" events that take place
annually in Buffalo, NY with the North American
Championships.  Peter Durham's group is a well
oiled enterprise with many years in the game...Also
the Huntsman World Senior Games Nationals hosted
in St. George Utah, and the alternating year National
North American Senior Games...Internationally,
what I call the next level we have FIMBA Maxi-
Basketball which is time tested, and passport ready,
for the elder/athlete/world travelers.

Personally, I have all the respect in the world for all
of the efforts and talents showcased on, and off, the
court at these events.  And the Detroit Senior Games
has a special place in my heart, due to it's unique
place in the basketball mix, when they include, Dinner,
Live Music, Dance, Good People, and Basketball. 
It's a winning formula for the weary, senior, traveler
and the "Grown and Sexy" fans of the game.  There's
only two other tournament that I know of that has
an "Old School Dinner and Dance" with a live
band and that's The Showdown N' Naptown in
Indianapolis, Indiana and the FIMBA Pan American
Games that took place this year in Costa Rica.


Once again, I understand, change, growth, and the
cold fact of budgeting...However, I don't want to see
a great event go completely corporate, and loose that
personal, casual, enjoyable feeling that was such a major
part of the draw, or why some folks came out here to
Detroit in the first place. 

A message to the Detroit Senior Games Tournament Committee...Bring that good feeling back to the event,
with the smiling volunteer staff, and the hospitality suite,
with the peanuts, and potato chips with the down home
"Story Telling" till the break of dawn. So for now, we
will allow Mr. Dilworth to once again have the final
word... See you all at the next event.

Masters Hoop Humor

"Never guard a man wearing a bathing suit...Refuse to guard anyone who does
not have a stomach.  That sucker will
run you to death"
                               Cal Dilworth [Page 37]

We encourage all involved parties to join the
Masters conversation and feel free to post a
comment below!  Blessings...LW 



  1. First let me say congratulations to the Michigan teams. Seems they always have guys in great shape for the ages. Inspires me to continue my quest to stay in shape and be healthy. Must be something in the air in the Midwest because Detroit, Indy and Chicago always look good.

    I've read the beginning of your story and understand being disappointed that they did not have the hospitality suite available. That's definitely a part of the draw for me traveling from NY to Detroit. The dinner, show and dance in another draw. As for the other serious matters I'll wait for your comments on those and check with some others before commenting.


  2. The best tournaments have the best players that's what real players come back for. Competition.

    1. Mr. Anonymous, yes you are correct the "best
      tournaments have the best comp"...I get that.
      My point is that every tournament has it's own identity. There a characteristics that are unique to certain tournaments. At Buffalo Masters you will get a good variety of competitive teams from all over the nation, however your not going to get a professional "Old School Concert & Dance" now are you? Same thing in Jacksonville and Coral Springs Florida Masters right...Good comp...
      No interaction with the "local people"...
      Yes they [FL]are organized and they got that sunshine
      and the sand,and that what makes them "Florida Masters"...My point is every Masters event has
      it's own character and identity...And since we've
      [Sugar Daddies] been to most of them we know what,
      and what not, to expect.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hey Lahn, just found out about your site from Neal today. Awesome site. I see you did put that tournament together for August. Nice job. We will definitely try to make it there next year fro The Chi. I think you guys are playing in the older Bracket in Naptown in September. We are in the 50 and over Bracket but we will be there. This is Derrick from the Windy City Renegades.

  5. What's up Derrick? Great to hear from you. Just wanted to let you know that your team "The Windy City Renegades" is a class act and one of the best teams we've seen on the road in a long time. I'm expecting great things in your organizations future. If you have a team photo we would like to post it on this site asap. We in NYC are gearing up to support your Masters event in August, which we believe takes place on the weekend of August 19, 2016. We cannot attend this year, however we are in contact with the Legendary Mr. Charlie Brown, and we are sending some support resources within the next two weeks.
    I will call you soon, and keep that team together...You've got a great program going down in Chi-town. Blessings...Lahh