NCAA teams host youth basketball clinics on Camp Humphreys
November 8, 2013
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- Approximately 120 children from Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base took part in youth basketball clinics hosted by the Georgetown University Hoyas and University of Oregon Fighting Ducks men's basketball teams, Thursday (Nov. 7), here.
The teams are in South Korea to participate in the second installment of the ESPN Armed Forces Classic, to be played in the Humphreys Community Fitness Center, Nov. 9.
The game tips off locally at 10 a.m., Nov. 9, and will be broadcast by ESPN, starting at 7:30 p.m. (EST), Nov. 8 to a worldwide audience. The game is part of ESPN's Veteran's Week initiative, honoring the men and women who are serving and who have served in the United States military, both at home and abroad.
Led by Hoya coach John Thompson III and Oregon coach Dana Altman, the players for both teams put the youth through various drills at both the MP Hill and Zoeckler Fitness Centers. The players and coaches worked with the children in groups, emphasizing ball-handling, dribbling, passing, defense and shooting layups.
"I think this was good," said nine-year-old David Spielman, who attended the Hoya clinic. "I think I'd like to do this again. I like that they talked about defense and offense. The drills they taught us will be very helpful, especially when shooting layups and getting in a defensive stance."
Another participant at the Hoya clinic, 10-year-old Adam Spreitzer, said that the instruction he received from the players will "definitely" help him during the upcoming youth basketball season.
Hoya senior captain Nate Lubick said that he and the other players enjoy doing stuff like this with the younger kids, especially in this environment.
"It's great," he said. "We've done some stuff like this before, but getting to come to Korea and do this on such a big military base, and to be able give back something to the children of those who allow us to be able to play basketball, a game we love, is unbelievable."
Earlier in the day, both schools had the opportunity to visit with Soldiers and view static displays of helicopters assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, in their hangar.
Later in the visit here, the teams will participate in activities such as serving and eating with the troops at a dining facility, holding open practices and a community "meet and greet".
"Camp Humphreys is extremely proud to host this year's Armed Forces Classic," said Col. Darin S. Conkright, Humphreys Garrison commander, when the game was first announced in late July. "I can't think of a better way to provide the Soldiers and families stationed here, on Freedom's Frontier, a taste of home than through a sporting event of this magnitude."
The teams arrived at Incheon Airport Nov. 6 and then were bused to Camp Humphreys. Upon arrival, both teams practiced. During their time in Korea, Georgetown is practicing at the MP Hill Fitness Center and Oregon is working out at Zoeckler Station Fitness Center.
"We're excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Armed Forces Classic and for the opportunity to play Oregon, said Georgetown head coach John Thompson III. "I think it's important as we prepare for league play to compete against top-flight opponents. At the same time, it's an honor for Georgetown to be involved in the Veterans Week festivities and to recognize the contributions of the United States military."
Oregon coach, Dana Altman, added "Our players and staff are very excited to take part in this event. This is an incredible opportunity for all of us and we look forward to entertaining the troops."
The day of the game, doors to Humphreys Community Fitness Center will open at 8 a.m. The majority of tickets to this game have been issued to Camp Humphreys Soldiers, along with U.S. Active Duty personnel from throughout Korea. Another 50 or so tickets were issued to interested family members through a lottery-type system.
Last year, ESPN began the season with a game at Ramstein Air Base, in Germany, with the Michigan State Spartans and the Connecticut Huskies. It was the first regular-season college basketball game played on European soil.
This year's game is the second of a five-year rotation between the services and has a chance to be just as intriguing. With the Air Force hosting last year and the Army this year, the Coast Guard, Marines and Navy are on the docket for Years 3-5 of the series.
The last time a regular-season college game was held in Asia was 1982, when a Ralph Sampson-led University of Virginia and a Hakeem Olajuwon-led University of Houston, played in Tokyo.
The purpose of these games isn't just to honor the military on Veterans Day weekend but to bring an event to the servicemen and women who normally don't have access to a sporting event or may feel detached from the American sporting culture.
"We thank ESPN for supporting Soldiers and bringing a taste of home to Freedom's Frontier," said Lt. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux, Eighth Army commanding general. "We are proud to be part of this game. I can't think of a better place to showcase the importance our Army places on strength and resilience than the top-notch fitness center at Camp Humphreys."
Camp Humphreys is home to the 2nd Infantry Division's 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, along with various military intelligence and support units, and the Army's most active overseas airfield. As Camp Humphreys grows, the command is working hard to provide Soldiers and their families a strong, supportive community and a quality of life similar to what they would find at home in the States.