Experience is in their court

But if he does, Gil Hoffman, an attorney from Timonium and one of the young guys at 67, has an emergency kit the size of a suitcase.

"We even have aspirin and a cup in case someone has a heart attack," Hoffman says. "Someone said to me once: 'What do you need a cup for?' I said: 'What are we supposed to do: pick a guy up, drag him over to the water fountain and put his head under the water to take the aspirin?' "

Even though the games are friendly, the guys jaw at each other. On one trip up court, Wintsch is yakking at 67-year-old Paul Klender about a hack across the arms he allegedly received. And Klender says: "What am I supposed to do, let you have it?"

Wintsch is a beauty. A retired insurance manager from Timonium, he talks trash on the court!

During one game, I watch him guarding Klender in the corner while hissing: "Shoot it, shoot it!"

I'll tell you this: You haven't lived until you've heard a 76-year-old guy talk trash.

The over-70 team at Bykota - Wintsch, Kimmett, McGillicuddy, Lastner, Vaughan and Gil Felter, 71, sitting out today with an injury - is a dandy.

Four months ago, they crushed a team from Montgomery County to win the gold medal in 3-on-3 competition at the Maryland Senior Games. This would be even more impressive if there had been more than two teams in the competition.

Nevertheless, in July, the over-70 team travels to Baton Rouge, La., for the National Senior Games. (They're trying to raise money for this, too. Donations can be sent to Senior Basketball, care of the Bykota Senior Center, 611 Central Ave., Towson, Md. 21204.)

It is, says McGillicuddy, a hell of a fun way to spend your golden years.

"I'm not going to be sipping mint juleps in a rocker," he adds.

God forbid. Not any of these guys.