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Grizzly Grandparents connect college, community

Posted at 11:59 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 06:48:09-05

FRANKLIN, Ind. -- What do you get when you mix a senior living facility and a women's basketball team?

Well, in Franklin, you get packed stands, loud cheers and a little heckling of the referees. 

The Franklin College Women's Basketball team has a secret weapon. 

And they are in the stands every home game. 

They are the crazy Grizzly Grandparents. 

It's a tradition that started nearly ten seasons ago, when the women's basketball team and the local Masonic home teamed up. 

"We always know we'll have at least 50, and it's 50 plus. They create a great environment and help the team win some close games, pull them out," Dale Long said. 

"One game I got hit and had some blood coming from my head and he stood up and yelled, 'That's my granddaughter!'" 

Sporting their matching yellow T-shirts, they fill the stands long before tip time. With one die-hard fan at the top of the bleachers, who is turning 106 next month. 

The grandparents and players support each other, on and off the basketball court. 

Last season, the team ranked second in the nation in attendance for all Division 3 Women's Basketball programs, with an average of 880 fans in attendance each home game. 

Senior Katie Brewer might sum it up the best. 

"They're part of the team. Shows that it's more than just basketball, it's more of a community, rather than just our team."

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