By Spc. Drew BalstadFebruary 24, 2010
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - An All-Star women's youth basketball team from
nearby Ferizaj/Urosevac came to Camp Bondsteel Feb. 21 to play a friendly
game of basketball against a team of top-notch female Soldiers from
Multi-National Battle Group-East (MNBG-E).
The game was set up by the Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office on
"We are trying to build camaraderie and have competitive fun through
sportsmanship," said Jay Debouse, the MWR sports programmer at Camp
The office had previously set up a men's basketball game in December and
decided to set up a women's game as well. They used their contacts with the
men's team to find a women's team to play. The Ferizaj/Urosevac team,
comprising 17- to 19-year olds, had come on base before to play past
rotations of KFOR.
"I've played here two times," said Alberte Kurti, 17, a player from the
Ferizaj/Urosevac team. "I enjoy playing here. I like the American girls."
The enjoyment of the game extended to the American team as well.
"It was fun," said Staff Sgt. Vanessa Imdieke, an American soldier who
participated in the game. "All the girls were pretty young. It was good to
see their passion."
The Ferizaj/Urosevac team's usual opponents are teams from other cities in
Kosovo. Basketball is a popular sport in Kosovo, according to Gentiana
Ismali, 17, another player from the Ferizaj/Urosevac team.
The game was a good opportunity to help the team improve and come together
as a unit. Ismali said that when they play the American girls they play with
That power led the Ferizaj/Urosevac team to a 40-31 win over the Americans.
"It was a good game," said Spc. Jennifer Greff, who played on the American
team. "They definitely looked like they've played together."
"It felt good to win," Ismali said.
A men's game against a team of Camp Bondsteel men's All-Star players
followed the women's game.
Multi-National Battle Group - East is a U.S- led task force commanded by
Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This Battle Group is comprised of nearly 2,200
Soldiers, including Task Force Hellas and Task Force POL/UKR
(Polish/Ukraine). The charter mission of MNBG-E is maintaining a Safe and
Secure Environment and providing Freedom of Movement for the people in