Soldier, athlete heads to training camp
May 8, 2014
- "It's not so stressful," Spc. Angela Tisdale said, of military basketball. "When I was overseas it was a job, so we had to produce every time. Now I'm just doing it for fun."
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- If you happen upon a certain Fort Campbell Soldier-athlete mid-workout at her newest practice spot at the New Clarksville Base Physical Fitness Center near Gate 10, you can see the intensity in Spc. Angela Tisdale's face as sweat drops to the floor between drills.
The Soldier ventures out next month to take part in the Armed Forces Women's Basketball Trial and Training Camp, May 28-June 5 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn.
If selected, Tisdale will represent Fort Campbell on the Armed Forces team and participate in the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) competition in Meyenheim, France, June 15-22. The Armed Forces team will compete with other similar military teams from many other nations.
The honor and opportunity is great for the Soldier, whose only opportunity to compete on post is within the Fort Campbell Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Soldier basketball leagues. Tisdale also previously played for the post women's basketball team at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Korea -- her first duty station.
"I've played different levels, but I never really played with the Army, so I really don't know what to expect going in," Tisdale said of the upcoming trial camp.
For the Public Health Command Soldier, who enlisted two years ago this February to become a veterinary food inspector, the "different levels" she speaks of are nothing to push under the rug. Tisdale was a third round draft pick for the Women's National Basketball Association's Chicago Sky in 2008, after playing four years on a full scholarship for Baylor University's Lady Bears. In her freshman season there, the team won the 2005 NCAA National Women's Basketball Championship.
"By my senior year, I was leading Baylor in assists," the 29-year-old said.
Her professional basketball career continued overseas, where she played for five different countries.
"I won a championship in Bulgaria," she said. "I traveled the world a lot, so I had fun and it was a great experience."
Even with the championship, the 5-foot, 7-inch-tall point guard saw the downside of continuing her professional career.
"When I was overseas, a lot of people kept getting hurt and stuff, and they didn't have [anything] to fall back on," she said.
With this in the forefront of her mind, Tisdale considered her other options and liked the security and opportunity the Army provided. One of her goals in joining the Army included getting a master's degree. That goal is now closer to reality as she begins classes in May for a degree in Health Care Administration.
Tisdale's passion for basketball remains, and the Soldier-athlete continues to enjoy the game non-competitively as well. Tisdale is now working hard to provide basketball camp opportunities for local children, through a program called iHoop Productions. She offered free basketball clinics in March at Fort Campbell's Taylor Youth Center. For more information about upcoming programs, visit IHoop Pro on Facebook.
"I'm going to do another one in May," Tisdale said. "Then, I'm going to start charging for camps and personal training … We're starting off small right now, but we're trying to make it big.
"Some younger people don't know the game ... that's why I'm willing to do camps and stuff."
After a knee injury last year, Tisdale is still rehabbing carefully both on and off the court. While she prepares for the Armed Forces selections, she is excited to see what is to come.
"It's not so stressful," she said, of military basketball. "When I was overseas it was a job, so we had to produce every time. Now I'm just doing it for fun."