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February 1, 2013

On the ball

Blew celebrates 100th birthday with latest generation of Lady Hornets

Athens — Celebrating 100 years is a feat many people would love to reach in their lifetime.

Athens resident Kaye Blew was recognized with that honor last Sunday with more than 100 attendees in a birthday celebration at Eastern Hills Church of Christ.

“Oh, it was something big,” Blew said. “It was a special day and everybody was so nice. It was such a big crowd and all of my grandkids were here.”

Blew’s daughter, Robyn Stack, said the current Athens Lady Hornets basketball team once again visited her this year — which has become an annual tradition.

“The coach (Dee Evans) was crying and they all came and presented her with an autographed basketball,” Stack said. “All of the girls were there and talked to her during the event.”

Blew is the only surviving member of the only state basketball title team in the history of Lady Hornets basketball in 1930 (before the UIL began sanctioning high school sports).

“It was super duper to win a state title,” Blew said.

Following high school basketball, Blew was able to continue her playing days by taking part in a semi-pro basketball team called the Shoe Top girls.

Blew has seen many things in her life, living through World War II and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

“It has been a rough life for all of us,” Blew said. “They don't know anything about how life used to be back in the day. I had to pick cotton and do everything when I was a kid. We would chop wood and fight blackbirds.”

Stack said the key to her mother making it to the century mark has been her family and remaining active in the community.

“Following her basketball days, my mother would water ski 18 miles every day to the dam on my grandfather’s boat and then head 18 miles back every day, even on New Year’s,” Stack said. “She is a busy lady and she does a bread ministry, so that anyone who gets sick gets a loaf of bread.”

Blew said one lesson young people should learn is how to act each morning when you wake up for the day.

“You better live it straight ’cause life gives you something new every year,” Blew said.

Said Stack: “My mother’s life has been ‘go and live your life,’ and you can underline the word ‘live.’”

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