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83-year-old ‘hoops granny’ wants to play in the WNBA


(NewsNation) — Retired nurse and octogenarian Shirley Simson has a new dream of being involved in the Women’s National Basketball Association.

The 83-year-old started playing basketball last year to get in better shape after knee replacement surgery, and now, she’s the star of the “Grandma to WNBA” TikTok series.

She tells NewsNation’s Leland Vittert that her grandsons were behind the pitch to get her playing basketball so that she could stay healthy and live longer.

“This is much better than going to a gym with a bunch of ladies jumping up and down,” Simson said during an appearance on “On Balance.

Simson’s grandsons started filming her practicing and uploaded videos to TikTok and Instagram in which Simson narrates the drills she’s doing. The videos now have millions of views, including the WNBA commenting “Grandma … where you at?” on one video.

“I cannot believe how people are responding,” Simson said. “Like friends and colleagues. … I was at my daughter’s the other day. She was having a little party, and a lawyer, a young lawyer, was there. She says, ‘You got me exercising again.'”

Simson is proud of what she’s doing. Ultimately, she hopes she can inspire others to stay active and healthy.