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Fred Grier: A man who loves to play sports

PAULETTE BALLARD
Guest columnist

Once again I found myself sitting in a waiting area while my husband’s car was being serviced.  A very friendly, outgoing gentleman was sitting beside me and we began conversing about different topics. Of course I had to ask him the question for my column, “What is a moment in your life you will never forget?”
Without stopping to take a breath he told me it was when he played basketball for the U.S. Shape Team while he was in the Army. I had never heard of this team before, so he described it to me.
“This team is comprised of the best basketball players in the Armed Forces who are stationed in Europe,” Grier said. “I played with them for three years and my team made it to the tournament in Belgium in 1972.”
His bright, shining eyes and the huge smile on his face portrayed the pride he felt in being part of this special team. I felt like I was sitting beside a superstar.
We continued talking about sports and I told him his name sounded familiar to me. He went on to tell me he played semi-pro baseball for 25 years with some ex-major leaguers. This was when he lived in Charlotte. He has lived in Lincolnton for the past 15 years and continues to be an avid sports fan.

Paulette Ballard collects interesting, funny and unusual stories from people in and around Lincolnton. If you have a story you would like to submit for her column, e-mail it to pballardnc1029@yahoo.com. In the subject line type “For your column.” Include your name and phone number for her to contact you.

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