USA Hockey Magazine

February 2015

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32 BY NAME HERE PHOTOS BY Norm Hall; Getty Images Retired NBA Star Greg Ostertag Finds A New Passion In Arizona Adult Hockey Leagues FEBRUARY. 2015 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM G reg Ostertag established himself as a shot-blocking presence over the course of an 11-year career in the National Basketball Association. In his latest athletic pursuit, blocking shots doesn't carry quite the same appeal. Shortly after retiring from the Utah Jazz in 2006, the 7-foot-2, 280-pound center returned to his childhood roots by playing adult recreational hockey. He skates in a beginner-level league on Wednesdays and an intermediate-level league on Thursdays at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Ariz. "One day, I just decided to go find some- thing to do besides playing golf every day," says the 41-year-old Ostertag. "I was lucky to have a guy in Utah send me a pair of skates. Then I went to a rink, started skating around, and, once I got my feet under me again, I got into a league. I've been doing it ever since. "I don't do it to stay in shape. I do it because it's fun. I love playing hockey, and I love being around the guys. I'd do it five days a week if I could and if I had time." Ostertag, who plays both forward and defense, takes pride in his ability to win faceoffs and set up wingers with better wheels than his. And, of course, after years of playing college and pro basketball, he understands how to use his massive frame to his advantage. "I don't handle the puck great, but I know how to get into position, and sometimes I get lucky," Ostertag says. "I try to be a screen as much as I can and get out of the way at the last second. I don't know if I'm man enough Hoop Dreams By JIM LEITNER Take An Icy Twist

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