Dempsey Welcomes USA Basketball Teams
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 15, 2012 The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday welcomed the men and women representing USA Basketball as they held an open practice here for service members, their families and fans from the metropolitan area.
Two teenagers from military families watch the U.S. Women’s National Basketball team hold a basketball clinic as part of the “Hoops for Troops” outreach program at the District of Columbia National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C., July 14, 2012. DOD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Speaking to the audience at the District of Columbia National Guard Armory, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey welcomed both teams and introduced their head coaches as the players treated fans to activities during the ‘Hoops for Troops’ program and continued training camp in preparation for the London Olympics.
The “Hoops for Troops” program, launched in 2006, provides support for the U.S. military and their families through programs, events, and partnerships, according to the USA Basketball website.
“We’re happy to have USA Basketball here, both [the] women’s and men’s teams,” Dempsey said. “We’re awful proud of you, [and] we’ve got great expectations. I know you know that.”
Dempsey introduced the coach of the Men’s National Team “on behalf of the 2.4 million men and women serving and their families,” and described the former Army officer as a “great friend” and “one of the finest leaders of our time in any profession.”
“It’s an honor for me to be here,” said Coach Mike Krzyzewski, noting his family had accompanied him. “We belong to the Army. It’s a tremendous honor for me to coach our nation’s team.”
Krzyzewski noted he’d graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1969.
“I was an Army captain when I got out of the military to become a coach,” he said.
Krzyzewski expressed his gratitude in being able to give back to the nation and said it’s an honor to entertain troops and their families.
“The thing that we, as a group -- USA Basketball, is [most] proud of is that at some point we can give back something to our country … during this Olympic period,” the coach said. “We want to thank all of you for a lifetime of service to our country.”
“And it’s our goal, today, to honor you and to thank you for that great service,” Krzyzewski added.
Dempsey also introduced Coach Geno Auriemma, who manages the USA Basketball women’s national team.