Soldiers compete for All Army women's basketball team slots
June 5, 2014
Fort Belvoir, Va. (June 5, 2014) - Soldiers from Army installations around the world faced off against Fort Belvoir's elite Washington Area Military Athletics Conference women's basketball team, Friday-Sunday at Graves Fitness Center, aiming to make the final All Army roster of players that will compete this month in the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) tournament in France.
CISM is an international military sports organization with 133 member countries. The fundamental aim of CISM is to promote sport activity and physical education between armed forces as a means to foster world peace. CISM holds more than 20 competitions annually, bringing Soldiers together on the sports field as opposed to the battle field. The motto of CISM is "Friendship through Sport" and is based on three pillars of sport, education and solidarity.
Twenty-four women competed throughout the weekend against the Fort Belvoir Lady Eagles, the WAMAC All Stars and the Virginia Lady Stallions, each vying to be among the final 15 athletes selected for the team of servicemembers representing every branch of the armed forces that will travel to Meyenheim, France to play in the CISM tournament running June 15-22.
According to Richard Tatem, Fort Belvoir fitness specialist and Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation representative, the event is an opportunity for Soldiers to compete to become a representative on one of the Army's highest level teams.
"This is a big event because the final selections for the All Army team will be made for the team that goes to France," Tatem said. "The (coaches) haven't made their final cut yet; that's why we have so many young ladies out here tonight. They'll go from 24 down to the final roster of 15 this weekend."
The All Army hopefuls kicked the qualifying series off with an intense match up against the Belvoir Lady Eagles Friday night, keeping offensive momentum at full tilt to claim an 82-77 victory. Saturday's contest pitted the All Army candidates against the WAMAC All Stars, an elite team made up of the highest ranked athletes from military installations all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. On Sunday the All Army team went up against the Virginia Lady Stallions, a semi-professional team out of the Norfolk-Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
Belvoir Lady Eagles Head Coach Sherman Sherin, a veteran of the WAMAC women's basketball program on post, said he put his team together for this event with the best players he could find in the area.
"The team representing Belvoir tonight is made up of athletes from all over the region who play in our summer leagues," he said. "When I got the call from the All Army event organizers about this tournament, I said we absolutely wanted to be involved. I keep all my players on speed dial for events like this. Plus, this is another good opportunity for them to play summer basketball."
All Army and CISM officials selected each player based on prior accomplishments and experience in military athletics, including previous women's pro league or armed forces team membership, armed forces championship experience, previous all state and all district recognitions and special referrals from other armed forces team members, among many other considerations.
For more information regarding military athletics at Fort Belvoir and around the Washington, D.C. metro area, contact Sheila Edwards, Fort Belvoir sports director, at (703) 805-4382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.