CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Having a competitive mindset will set you up for success when it comes to winning. That mindset is just one part of the “Most Hated” winning equation in the basketball season here.
The team, composed of Soldiers assigned to 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command who are currently deployed out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is led by Sgt. Amit Kashyap, an information technology specialist, and Spc Addison Burgess, a human resources specialist.
From January to March, the Most Hated competed in a Camp Arifjan Basketball League. Of the nine teams they played, the Most Hated only lost to one team at the beginning of the season. After that loss, the team bounced back and won out the rest of the season by double digits, and ended as the number one seed going into the playoffs with a record of 8-1.
Burgess gave credit to the fact that “a bunch of the guys are competitive” and that “they are very hungry when they play.”
“With it bringing everyone together, the chemistry is nice,” Kashyap said.
The Soldiers both also give credit to the level of support from their sections and unit. Burgess said that the support of his family back home and his G1 family have helped motivate him to show out on game days.
Kashyap said the presence of the entire unit has been felt on the court.
When asked about the name of their team, Burgess said it came from a clothing brand he really liked created by Swaggy P and Nick Young.
As a player and a coach, Burgess says he is very cerebral on and off the court, and he sees things others don’t see.
This was not Burgess’ first time coaching; he is also the coach of the Fayetteville Stars back home in North Carolina. The team competes in a 16u and 17u basketball league and has traveled across the country. Burgess said he sees the team as more as an outreach program within the local Fort Bragg area.
"I take pride in helping underprivileged and low-income kids play basketball and get scholarships while seeing the United States,” Burgess said.
Burgess has coached the team in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and has hopes of taking the team to New York, and maybe even south to Florida.
Burgess and Kashyap each said their love for basketball started at a young age. Burgess explained he used to play soccer but that he got tall so “it didn’t fit well” with him.
He said he started taking basketball more seriously in high school and getting better at it. He played in the AAU and traveled the country.
His journey took him to Kansas State as a walk on, then to a junior college in northern Virginia. Burgess said that experience changed his life. He said helping kids is a stress reliever.
“I found what I wanted to do when I get out of the military,” Burgess said.
Kashyap said he enjoys being part of the team as he is expected to join Burgess coaching the youth. He gives credit to his love for the sport on his role as a coach for the Most Hated as he learns for his coaching experience now.