Jeane Baker - 2015 Athlete of the Year
2015 ShopRite Connecticut Masters’ Games Athlete of the Year: Jeanne Baker - (Basketball)
Jeanne Baker is an 81-year- old athlete who grew up in Milford, Conn. She graduated from high school in 1952, and then continued her education at UConn in 1956, where she swam to stay fit. Growing up she was always a physically active person -- whether it was riding her bike for miles or going to summer camps to swim and canoe. Unfortunately for Jeanne, there were very limited options for girls sports at the time; but she always found away to stay active. She was a member of the Mariner Girl Scout Troops where she played competitive softball and basketball.
Today, Jeanne lives in Mystic, Conn, where she raised her three wonderful daughters on a small farm. She spent her days staying active on the farm by keeping it clean and preparing the sheep for showing. During this time, she decided to go back to college to continue her education. She received her Masters’ in Education from Eastern CT and Masters’ in Special Education from Southern CT. She taught in the Groton School systems for about 30 years before retiring in 1996. These were “great years” she says.
After Jeanne’s retirement from her successful 30 years of teaching, she became a passionate advocate in volunteerism. She spends much of her time volunteering at around her community at the local church giving back to those in needs, and also volunteering at the Mystic Aquarium and the Mystic Noank Library. This November she was elected to the Groton Representative Town Meeting. Furthermore, she devoted some time as a Resident Advocate at the local nursing home for the state. During that time, Jeanne acknowledged her fondness for the game of basketball one day while watching seniors play basketball on the television, and afterwards she confidently told herself, “I can do that too!”
From there, Jeanne officially started playing basketball again at the Ledyard Middle School with a group of ladies her age. The years after that were quite successful for her basketball career. She joined the Not Too Late Basketball Camp in Portland, ME for women over 50. Next, she competed for an 80 and over team from New Orleans, where her team received the Bronze medal in Minneapolis from the National Senior Games. Lastly, she actively participated in the CT Masters’ Games basketball program for the past eight years and successfully brought home two gold medals. She has achieved a great amount in the past six years and continues to thrive in her effort to stay active. Jeanne says, “It has been an amazing and wonderful trip and I plan to play as long as I am able too.” Her enthusiasm, passion and kind-heart for the sport and the community will continue to allow her to achieve success in all aspects of her life.
In her spare time, Jeanne continues to stay active by going to the YMCA for daily exercise classes three times-a-week and uses their gym to practice shooting. On Mondays, she visits Ledyard Middle School to play basketball with a wonderful group of ladies and continues to learn a great deal from them. By watching these ladies she continues to learn a g