menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset Share
West Point trip

Men's National Team Holds Practice At West Point After Meeting With Cadets

  • Date:
    Aug 18, 2014

West Point, New York

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski had planned for his team to get a good run in Monday afternoon when they practiced at West Point following a tour of the U.S. Military Academy and meet-and-greet with the cadets.

However, following a solemn visit to West Point Cemetery and a morning of bonding with cadets and officers, Krzyzewski said he decided to call an audible. What was scheduled to be a two-hour practice was more a mix of practice and play with the cadets.

While the crowd was excited to watch the National Team in action, they were even more pumped to see members of both the men’s and women’s Army basketball teams join the fray. At one point, they played an extended game of Knockout with the National Team. The mood was light and there was plenty of laughter.

The National Team arrived in New York Sunday in advance of two exhibition games that will be played Aug. 20 versus the Dominican Republic and Aug. 22against Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden, but the first order of business was Monday’s trip to West Point in support of USA Basketball’s Commitment to Service collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense. 

The day began with a visit to West Point Cemetery, where three families of military members lost in battle met with players, followed by the cadets demonstrating some of their most challenging training modules for the team. Before the USA’s training session, players and coaches had lunch in the mess hall with more than 4,000 cadets.

While the visit was part of USA Basketball’s Hoops for Troops program, it was also part of Krzyzewski’s routine. Since taking over the Men’s National Team in 2005, he’s tried to schedule team excursions like this to bring the team together.

“Patriotism and selfless service are two really amazing concepts to feel,” Krzyzewski told USAB.com in July. “And I think you only do it by taking them to locations where they might feel it. Certainly, West Point is one of those locations.”

Of course, West Point is near and dear to Kyzyzewski. He played for Army from 1966-69, then coached the Black Knights basketball team from 1970-80.

“For me, it’s my alma mater and it was my first coaching assignment. I still do quite a bit with the Academy. I believe in it. I believe it’s the best leadership school in the world. For me to be a leader of our national team and bring my team to my alma mater, and the place that I love, to try to show them a little bit about that place, that’s a dream come true.”

Kyrie Irving said it was an honor to be invited to West Point, tour the academy and meet with the cadets. 

“It was such a great opportunity,” he said. “Just trying to learn from them as much as I can about selfless service.”

Irving told ESPN that one of the best things about playing for USA Basketball has been the brotherhood between players who have come together as teammates after facing each other as opponents during the NBA season. Now, Irving added, “We have a job to do for the nation.”

When the two-hour practice at Christl Arena ended, Krzyzewski addressed the crowd one last time.

“Thank you so much for inviting us into your home,” he said. “This entire day has been a fabulous one.”

 

 

Related Videos

On Sept. 25 at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Vince Carter slammed what likely was the most famous dunk of his career.

Twenty years after the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team made its indelible impact on international basketball at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, USA Basketball’s 2012 Men’s National Team, wearing 1992 USA Basketball throwback jerseys, returned to the hardwood in Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain and battled to a hard-fought 86-80 win over Argentina.

USA co-captain Allen Iverson had never hit a game winning shot in his illustrious playing career until he did so on Aug. 4, 2004. With time about to run out, he dribbled across mid-court and launched a game-winning 40-foot 3-pointer to lift the USA National Team to an 80-77 victory over Germany in front of a sold-out Kolnarena crowd numbering 18,000. The Iverson answer was a fitting end to a game that was tight the entire way and one in which NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki almost single-handedly kept his country within striking distance. Nowitzki finished the night with a game-best 32 points on 13-for-23 shooting overall, while adding 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

The USA National Team handed the USA Select Team a 111-74 loss in an action filled contest at the University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center in front of 8,980 fans. Leading by only 10 points at the half after the select team's Jason Richardson poured in 19 first half points, the USA National Team behind a game high 24 points (10-10 FGs) from Vince Carter dominated the second half with its high-octane running game and posted a 111-74 victory.

The U.S. 22-and-under team, made up of college all-stars and coached by
Stanford's Mike Montgomery, led by 17 points at the half and nearly upset
the Men's Olympic Dream Team in the first exhibition game before the
Summer Games in Atlanta. 22-and-under team featured Paul Pierce,
Chauncey Billups, Tim Duncan.

Related Content

The Los Angeles Lakers claimed the 2020 NBA Championship and did so with a roster filled with players possessing USA Basketball experience.

Four-time gold medalist Charles Barkley tallied a 37-2 record during a USA Basketball career that spanned 14 years.

Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski’s USA Basketball career has spanned 38 years and included 12 gold medals.

2017 AmeriCup Team

Tags

Montevideo, Uruguay and Córdoba, Argentina • August 25-September 3, 2017 It had been 10 years since the United States last competed in its zone championship. While the format of the competition was different and the official name of the Americas Championship had been altered to the FIBA...

On Sept. 25 at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Vince Carter slammed what likely was the most famous dunk of his career.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?