‘Hoops for Troops’ visits WTB

| November 7, 2011 | 0 Comments

Stephanie Bryant
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs

Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Zavala (center), senior enlisted advisor for the Warrior Transition Battalion, explains to the National Basketball Association players on the USO's Hoops for Troops tour what the units function and overall mission is during a Meet & Greet on Schofield Barracks as part of the USO's Hoops for Troops tour. Pictured from left to right: Mike Miller, Miami Heat; Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls; Brook Lopez, New Jersey Nets; Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Sgt. Terrance Bandy, TAMC Public Affairs)

Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Zavala (center), senior enlisted advisor for the Warrior Transition Battalion, explains to the National Basketball Association players on the USO's Hoops for Troops tour what the units function and overall mission is during a Meet & Greet on Schofield Barracks as part of the USO's Hoops for Troops tour. Pictured from left to right: Mike Miller, Miami Heat; Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls; Brook Lopez, New Jersey Nets; Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Sgt. Terrance Bandy, TAMC Public Affairs)

HONOLULU — Warrior Transition Battalion Soldiers and their family members lined up out the door of the Soldier and Family Assistance Center on Schofield Barracks, Oct. 24, waiting for the chance to meet with players from the National Basketball Association.

The USO/Armed Forces Entertainment “Hoops for Troops” tour hosted seven NBA players from various teams across the country.

The Soldiers brought jerseys, baseball caps and basketballs for the NBA players to autograph.

Staff Sgt. Edmund Chargualaf, a squad leader for the WTB, said the Soldiers were excited to have their photos taken with the stars.

“USO tours really boost morale for Soldiers and their families,” Chargualaf said. “Some of the Soldiers even brought their kids to meet the players.”

The Soldiers were not the only ones looking forward to the meet-and-greet.

“It is exciting for us (to meet the warriors in transition) because our definition of sacrifice is a lot different from theirs,” said Mike Miller, guard for the Miami Heat. “From the outside looking in, you only get a glimpse of their sacrifice. When you actually get to sit down with them and hear their stories, you realize how much they have gone through.”

“Their sacrifices are what have given us our freedoms and what we have,” Miller added.

Chargualaf said he was eager to have the opportunity to have Derrick Rose, the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player and guard for the Chicago Bulls, sign his baseball cap.

“We are both San Francisco 49ers’ fans, so I brought my 49ers’ cap for Derrick to sign,” Chargualaf said. “USO tours like this are a great opportunity for people (like the NBA players) to show Soldiers that they care and appreciate them and their sacrifices.”

After the meet-and-greet event, Soldiers and families dined with the NBA players at K Quad Dining Facility. The players also participated in a youth clinic, one-on-one games with service men and women, and multiple autograph and photo sessions.

This event was the first USO tour for the NBA players. On tour were D.J. Augustin, Charlotte Bobcats; Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings; Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks; Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks; Brook Lopez, New Jersey Nets; Robin Lopez, Phoenix Suns; JaVale McGee, Washington Wizards; Miller; and Rose.

(Editor’s Note: This is a web exclusive.)

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Category: Community, Wounded Warriors

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