Bernie Sanders made headlines during the New Hampshire primary when he was seen shooting baskets with his grandkids while waiting for the results to come in. Though the 74-year-old's apparent ease at getting the ball through the hoop impressed many watching, Sanders is in fact an old hand on the court, having spent many hours in the late 1970s playing basketball with a group of friends at the gym behind St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Burlington, The Guardian reports.
While Sanders wasn't a great basketball player back in the day, he wasn't bad, either, holding his own with "a deadly set-shot" and "rugged elbows." From The Guardian:
Here is what the men who played basketball with him said:
"He wasn't very fast."
"He was crafty."
"He had good elbows."
"From mid-range, 10-15 feet he could kill you."
"He sort of liked to be in charge, so there really nothing different in that," laughs David Sharpe, the auto mechanic who ran his own shop in those days and is now a Vermont state legislator. "He would direct traffic and tell us who was goofing off."
[…] "You didn't want to run into Bernie because you would get an elbow," [woodworker Rob] Borger says. "Not intentional, but he would come down hard." [The Guardian]
While many of Sanders' friends remembered his signature mannerisms on the court, at least one recalled his battle cry: Give me da bawwwwwwl!Jeva Lange