Camp Pendleton holds basketball world championship for military women worldwide

By Linda McIntosh | The San Diego Union-Tribune | July 25, 2016

More than 70 top female basketball players serving in the armed forces across the globe are scheduled to converge at Camp Pendleton from July 25-31 for a world championship tournament. 

In the spirit of friendship through sports, six teams from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany and the United States are set to compete in the World Military Women’s Basketball Championship, which is sponsored by the International Military Sports Council.

The council sponsors 20 international championships annually to bring together military personnel from nations that may have been in conflict during years past, with the goal of furthering world peace.

Since its founding in 1948, the organization has expanded from five member nations to 134, with the U.S. joining in 1951.

U.S. service members train for competitions like the council’s World Military Championships through the Armed Forces Sports program, which comprises 25 male and female teams as well as individual sports. They compete at unit-level intramurals and advance to the all-service level.

The program coordinates 16 Armed Forces Sports Championships each year, along with nine qualifying events/trial camps. All of these activities are meant to prepare American service members for international competitions.

The U.S. Armed Forces Women’s Basketball Team was selected during the annual U.S. Armed Forces Women’s Basketball Championship, which was held this month at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

This year’s team includes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

France hosted the first Military Women’s World Basketball Championship last year, when Brazil defeated China 87-86 to win the gold medal and the U.S. took the bronze.

“Through the spirit of competition and sportsmanship, the tournament promotes friendship between members of armed forces worldwide and fosters mutual understanding between cultures,” said Marine Lt. Col. Paul Greenberg, a spokesman for the tournament.