MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Emmaus College’s colors are blue and white. But these days, they also tint a little bit grey.
So it is, when one of your players is 55 years old.
Three decades ago, Paul Ruter enrolled at Emmaus and joined the basketball team, after graduating from Buffalo High School in Minnesota. But he quit after one semester to take over the family farm in Hanover, just northwest of the Twin Cities.
“I loved farming,” Ruter said. “That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to raise my family on the farm, and that took precedence over schooling.”
But when his youngest child, Caleb, emptied the nest and enrolled at Emmaus himself, Ruter decided to go with him and finish his education degree.
“I always had it in the back of my mind to go back,” he said.
Same campus, same classes.
“I was like, ‘You know, this could be a lot of fun,'” Caleb said.
And, of course, same basketball team.
“Wait, what?,” Caleb said with a laugh, recalling his first reaction to the news of his father’s decision. “I think I just walked away.”
“My son was on the team,” Paul said, matter-of-factly explaining his decision to play. “I thought, that’s not something that happens every day.”
Caleb is a sophomore. Paul might have five grandchildren, but he’s only a junior. Which means, so long as the old man can keep his grades up, their time together isn’t ending anytime soon.
“He’s my best friend,” Caleb said. “He’s been my best friend my whole life, and it’s a blast having him on the team.”
“I kind of pinch myself all the time,” Paul said. “I get to play ball with my son.”