All Army basketball adds 205th MI’s Herrera to roster

| November 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. 1st Class Sheryl L. Lawry
500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs

Spc. Lauren Herrera (right), a signal intelligence analyst for the 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., poses with her mother. (Courtesy Photo)FORT SHAFTER — Spc. Lauren Herrera is not your average basketball enthusiast. 

She knows the sport inside and out, and plays a mean point guard on the court. 

So, it wasn’t too surprising that her love of the game would lead her to become a member of the gold medal-winning 2010 All Army Women’s Basketball, or AAWB,  team.  

Herrera, a signal intelligence analyst for the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, was just 5 years old when her father introduced her to the sport. 

He had tried to spark her interest in tennis, but tennis “wasn’t aggressive enough” for his daughter. Basketball was.  

“Basketball was my life before the Army,” Herrera said. “I played year-round. It kept me busy and out of trouble; it allowed me to stay in good physical shape, which has kept me pretty healthy.”

In high school, she was playing varsity basketball and later made the Bethel University, Tenn., basketball team. 

After graduating, however, Herrera thought her days of playing organized basketball were over. 

One reason she joined the Army was because she missed being on a team.  

“Playing ball my whole life, I was always part of a team,” she said. “When I graduated college, I was lost because I wasn’t part of anything. The Army fills that void; now I have many teammates.”

Yet, Herrera still longed to play organized basketball. She had heard about the AAWB, so when she arrived at the 205th MI Bn., she asked the unit’s first sergeant about the team. He then helped her with the application process.

“I supported her because I believe in the total Army concept,” said 1st Sgt. Benjamin Lemon. “When called to war, you train … to the highest standard. However, when not directly involved (in combat), I believe Soldiers should have every opportunity to take advantage of what the Army has to offer, from college to sports.”

To prep for tryouts, Herrera created a rigorous training program. 

“I went to the gym at 5 a.m., to get some shots off, did (physical training) from 6:30-7:30 a.m., and then (did a) weights workout and one basketball-specific workout, later in the day,” she said. 

Lemon explained, “She formed her own program and stuck to it, showing up to camp in better shape than most of the other women. 

“She always puts 110 percent into everything she does; I don’t think anything was going to stop her from making that team,” he added regarding Herrera’s training regimen.

Her hard work paid off.  

“I was very excited to see my name on the list,” Herrera said. “Not many people get a chance to have this experience. It meant another means of playing the sport I love and representing the Army. I learned a lot, and I am very grateful.”

This past August, Herrera and her AAWB teammates shut out the Navy to win the gold medal during the Armed Forces Basketball Tournament. 

Hoping to repeat this year’s success, she plans to apply for next year’s team too. 

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